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The Yearbook 

of Agriculture 




\ % * 







The Yearbook of Agriculture 1969 


For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents 
Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price $3.50 

Food for us all starts with 3 million farmers who produce the beef and other foods 
we Americans consume at the rate of nearly 6,000 pounds a year for a family of 
four. About half of the total land area in the 50 States is devoted to farming. 


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Mechanization — as in wheat harvesting, above — plus other 
modern methods from farm to market help bring us our food 
for a smaller proportion of take-home pay than in any other 
country. Our highly efficient farming results in one farm 
worker being able to supply products for some 43 people. 

Potatoes are harvested mechanically in Michigan, above. A Florida 
factory in the field or "mule train," below, spans 24 rows of celery 
at one time and harvests more than three acres a day. The celery is 
also cleaned and crated, and can be shipped direct from the field. 

More than 23 million people, like this cannery worker, are employed in agribusiness — 
30 percent of our work force. Food processing often calls for complex machinery. 
The overhead system pictured here automatically feeds cans into filling machines. 


Our country is the world's biggest exporter of farm products, with 
American hot dogs even becoming a popular new food in Japan, 
above, where they are often sold by street vendors from small 
motorized stands. U.S. wheat grower groups, working with USDA, 
introduced the hot dog to Japan. The photos below show grain 
inspection in Oregon, at left, and processing of bing cherries. 

School milk, right, and school 
lunch as in Georgia, below, are 
two of many programs by which 
our nation improves nutrition 
among children and the poor. 



Providing food for the millions of us who 
eat away from home each day is a major 
undertaking. At top, a chef for a contract 
food management firm prepares ham 
steaks garnished with pineapple slice and 
red cherry. Above, desserts for vending 
machines are evaluated by a taste panel 
for appearance, flavor, and consistency. 

A homemaker could prepare a different meat dish every day, so many 
kinds and cuts of meat are available. Meat and poultry prepared in 
plants that ship into other States must be Federally inspected, and 
inspection is being extended to plants operating wholly within a State. 

Ready-to-eat chickens, on left, are 
cooked for sale in supermarkets. 
Infrared cabinets are used to keep 
the chicken warm for the customer. 
Below, sugar 'n' spice glazed ham. 
USDA offers a voluntary meat and 
poultry grading service which aids 
the housewife in her food shopping. 

Eggs are a remarkable storehouse of needed nutrients. They can play a 
main-dish role in breakfast or brunch, as in top photo. Candling, above, 
determines an egg's interior quality without breaking the shell. USDA 
grades eggs under a voluntary program. There are three consumer grades. 

Most of us enjoy milk or dairy 
products every day. Cheese, 
above, has countless forms — 
there are over 400 varieties of 
natural cheeses alone. Milk 
goes well with snacks, left, and 
other meals. Butter, right, is 
one of the oldest of our foods. 

More than 240 species of fish 
and shellfish are sold. They 
make tasty soups from the sea, 
at right, and countless other 
dishes. The U.S. Department of 
the Interior provides voluntary 
inspection of seafood, and it 
grades 15 processed products. 

Vegetables, top, come in many colors and textures, 
and shopping for them can be a delight if you know 
what to look for. Above, a model serves tossed salad. 

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Vegetable display at the left includes a 
skillet readied for cooking Ratatouille — 
zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, 
and green pepper. Above, vegetables are 
served with cream sauce, egg garnish. 

Fruit is another major food class. Below, 
Wisconsin cranberry beds are flooded 
to help in machine picking. Newly picked 
cranberries are floated to edge of beds 
in "boats." Right, cranberries get bath. 

One of the biggest bonuses of fruit is that it is ready to serve in any of its forms 
with little or no preparation — as in completing the Ring-A-Round Strawberry Dessert 
above. At upper right, apples are tested in a USDA laboratory. At right, fruit 
and other food products are inspected after seizure at a New York international 
airport to prevent any foreign food pests from hitchhiking into the United States. 


Cereal grains have been one of man's most important food plants 
since history began. Wheat, lower left, growing in Washington State, 
is most widely cultivated of these grains. Baked delicacies, upper 
left, include cranberry-orange bread, muffins, a coffeecake with 
broiled coconut topping, Florida tea ring. Ready-to-eat cereal, 
above, is longtime breakfast favorite with millions of Americans. 

Desserts — from cakes to crepes — are 
some of the sweetest things in life. 
Citrus desserts are featured at far left. 
Peaches are another dessert favorite. 
Peach packing is pictured at the left. 

Nuts give rich flavor, contrast in texture, and a pleasing garnish to other foods. 
Above, peanut products are used with salad, barbecue sauce, dip, soup, and dessert. 

Pickles, olives, and relishes are good by themselves, but they also make almost 
any food taste better. Temptingly arrayed at top, they join deviled eggs, chicken 
salad and other sandwiches — good for a meal or snack — in the photo just above. 

Milk and a fruit- or chocolate-flavored mix are the base for these four 
refreshing "instant" beverages surrounding a strawberry mint drink. 

A basic meal can be a thing of beauty to eye and palate, as in the photo above. 
The choice of fruits and vegetables spells the difference in color, texture, and 
variety in the household menu. Note how shapes of the foods complement each other. 






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Patio cooking is fun time for teens, above, with steak on the 
grill. Outdoor cookery has become a way of life for most Americans, 
in fact. A flavorsome California shish kabob sizzles at upper right. 
Chicken over the coals, lower right, tempts the taste buds. One 
secret of successful barbecuing is a solid bed of glowing coals. 



© ♦ 


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Secretary of Agriculture 

FOOD FOR US ALL, the title of this Yearbook, means enough food — and the 
right food — for every American. 

In a nation with the greatest food production capacity ever achieved — an 
ability in fact to produce considerably more than domestic and foreign markets 
can absorb — one might assume that the goal of food for us all would long since 
have been realized. Yet, it has not. 

• There is still hunger in the midst of national plenty. Poverty-caused 
malnutrition is far more widespread than we previously had thought. 

• Undernutrition, caused by ignorance or neglect, is a common fact of 
American life. There are still great gaps to be filled in the science of nutrition. 
The campaign to educate people about what makes a good diet and the 
relationship between diet and vigor, health, and longevity is only in its 

• We pride ourselves on having the world's cleanest and most wholesome 
food. Yet constant vigilance is needed to prevent careless or inadvertent 

For years, the Nation has had ample physical and scientific resources 
to remedy all these conditions. What has been lacking is sufficient public 
awareness and concern. But now the conscience of America is aroused. 

As President Nixon said early in 1969, "the moment is at hand to put an 
end to hunger in America ... for all time." 

Why do hunger and undernutrition persist in America? 

Is it because of the farmer? Hardly. 

He wants to produce enough to meet the nutritional needs of every man, 
woman, and child in this country. He does, and more. 

As consumers, we have a stake in a productive and prosperous agriculture. 
In 1969, for example, we got a reliable, stable, and high-quality food supply 
for 17 percent of our after-taxes income — a far lower proportion than in any 
other country of the world. But to assure us a continued supply of good food, 
the economic position of our agricultural producers needs to be improved. 
Farm people are not sharing adequately in the Nation's abundance. They 
have less than three-fourths as much income per person as nonfarm people. 

So remarkable has been the annual increase in farm output per man- 
hour — an increase roughly double that of industry — that one hour of U.S. 
farm labor in 1969 produced 2% times as much as it did only 15 years earlier. 

There is no shortage of food in America. Yet malnutrition and under- 
nutrition continue because of two major factors. 

The first and most obvious factor is lack of income. Many of the 25 
million Americans with poverty level incomes are simply too poor to buy an 
adequate diet from the abundance available in the commercial market place. 


The second factor, and one perhaps even more difficult to overcome, is 
a lack of knowledge of simple basic dietary rules, coupled with a lack of under- 
standing of the importance of good nutrition. 

This factor applies to every sector of American society. Even in the middle 
and upper income groups, we find nutritionally inadequate diets among a large 
proportion of adolescent girls, women, and elderly men. 

Both poverty and lack of knowledge, however, hit particularly hard at 
low-income people. 

When inadequate buying power is combined over a long period of time 
with inadequate knowledge of how to select and prepare food for good nutrition, 
poor nutrition becomes almost inevitable. 

And from poor nutrition, in turn, there often stems debility and listlessness, 
with inability to get and keep a responsible job, or to profit sufficiently by ed- 
ucation and training, or to strive in a meaningful way for self-improvement. 

This is a vicious circle. It is vital that this circle be decisively broken. 

But how? How do we assure improvements in the diets of our low-income 
families, and beyond them in the diets of the undernourished in more well-to-do 

As the reader will see, the Nation has, in being, delivery systems with a 
capability of reaching everyone in the U.S. who needs improved nutrition. 

We have a food stamp program to increase the food purchasing power of 
millions of low-income people, and a food donation program through which the 
needy can receive substantial packages of basic and nutritious foods. 

We have a supplemental foods program, available to every community, 
through which we provide enriched foods to meet the needs of new and expect- 
ant mothers, infants, and young children. 

We have a child-feeding program, also available to every community, that 
can provide one, two, or three meeds a day, plus nutritious snacks to children 
in day-care centers, settlement houses, and summer recreational activities. 

We have the school lunch and school breakfast programs through which 
children may have at least one or two good meals a day through the school year. 

We have a food and nutrition education program operating in all 50 States, 
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands through which 
trained program aides show homemakers how to buy food and how to prepare 
nutritionally complete meals from purchased and donated foods. 

We need to bring to maximum effectiveness all of these varied efforts to 
improve nutrition in America. 

This Yearbook has valuable information for everyone interested in good 
nutrition. It will help us choose food for health and vigor. It gives shoppers hints 
on how to get more for food dollars. It describes how food wholesomeness, 
quality, and purity are safeguarded. It outlines the farmer's role. It tells the 
importance of our national role in helping feed hungry nations and aiding them 
to develop their agricultures as a major stride toward economic development. 
It describes the contribution of the food industry which brings food to our shop- 
ping baskets in a myriad of convenient forms. 

In short, it provides basic, solid nutrition information needed by every 
consumer. What's more, I hope and believe it will be a useful gadfly to the 
American conscience. May it whet the appetite of every reader for action in 
achieving the goal of FOOD FOR US ALL. 



Yearbook Editor 

Food is in everyone's mind at least three times each day. This Yearbook tells 
agriculture's story in terms of food — how it's produced by the farmer, how it's 
marketed, and how the consumer can use it to best advantage in the home. 

In effect, here is the national food story in some 400 pages, a popular 
encyclopedia of food for the consumer in country or city. 

Food From Farm to You, first section of the Yearbook, describes the economics 
of food, from the farmer's field to the supermarket. 

The second section, Buying and Cooking Food, is divided into the major 
food classes, from meat and poultry on to dairy products, fruits, vegetables, 
and — ultimately — pickles, spices, and herbs. Housewives may find the tips on 
buying and the recipes especially helpful. 

Nutrition and planning meals are major components of the third section 
of the Yearbook, Food and Tour Life. Some of the chapter subjects emphasize 
basic food needs, creating good food habits, and money-stretching ideas to 
make your food dollar go further. 

A wide variety of authors wrote this book, and so it represents a diversity 
of views. Authors for the most part are from the U.S. Department of Agri- 
culture, other Federal agencies, and State land-grant universities. 

William S. Hoofnagle of the Economic Research Service was chairman 
of the Yearbook Committee that planned this volume. Others on the Com- 
mittee were: 

Agricultural Research Service — Marguarette M. Hedge, Irwin 
Hornstein, Ruth M. Leverton, and Irene H. Wolgamot. 

Consumer and Marketing Service — Eleanor A. Ferris and Hyman M. 

Economic Research Service — Stephen J. Hiemstra and Rosalind C. 

Federal Extension Service — Margaret C. Browne (ret.) . 

Food and Nutrition Service — Elizabeth S. Hight. 

Foreign Agricultural Service — Kenneth W. Olson. 

Forest Service — Clifford D. Owsley. 

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare — Theresa A. Demus. 

Department of the Interior- — Rose G. Kerr. 




Clifford M. Hardin, Secretary of Agriculture xxxih 


Jack Hayes, Editor of the Yearbook of Agriculture xxxv 


The Nation's Food Industry and You, the Consumer 2 

Wendell Clement and Kenneth R. Farrell 

Where Food Originates: The Farmer and His Farm 8 

Donald D. Durost 

The Water's Harvest: Fish of All Kinds for Our Tables 15 

H. E. Crowther 

That Coffee From Brazil, and Other Food Imports 18 

Frederick D. Gray 

Food on the Go: The Long Haul From Farm to Shopping Bag 20 

John 0. Gerald 

Food Processors and Packagers Put a New Cook in Your Kitchen 24 

Kermit Bird 

Thousands of New Foods Give You a Wide Choice 36 

Harry H. Harp and William S. Hoqfnagle 

Wholesalers and Brokers: Buyers by the Carload 42 

Alden C. Manchester 

A 'Showcase' for Food, at Your Local Supermarket 45 

D. B. DeLoach 

Telescoping 20 Years of Change in the Food We Eat 51 

Stephen J. Hiemstra 

Shedding Light on the Prices We Pay for Our Food 55 

Denis F. Dunham and Robert E. Frye 

100 Million Times a Day, Americans Eat Out 62 

Eileen F. Taylor 

Farm Programs: Their Role in Assuring Our Food Supply 66 

M . L. Upchurch 

School Lunch to Food Stamp: America Cares for Its Hungry 69 

Samuel C. Vanneman 


U.S. Farmers, Suppliers of Food for the World 75 

Kenneth W. Olson 

The Revolution in Agriculture: New Hope for Many Nations 81 

Quentin M. West 

Food Enough for the U.S.? A Crystal Ball Look Ahead 87 

Rex F. Daly 


All About Meat, That Key Item in Food Buying, Meal Planning 94 

Olive M. Batcher and Charles E. Murphey 

Poultry: A Tasty, Anytime Delight That's Popular Dozens of Ways 1 1 7 

Violet B. Crosby and Ashley R. Gulich 

Savvy With Seafood in the Store and Kitchen for That Tang of the 

Deep 127 

Rose G. Kerr 

Eggs — Nature's Prepackaged Masterpiece of Nutrition 139 

A. Elizabeth Handy 

Versatility, Inc., With Milk and Our Other Dairy Foods 146 

Harold E. Meister and Jennie L. Brogdon 

Fruit— Buy It With Care and Serve It With Flair 160 

Gladys L. Gilpin, Elinore T. Greeley, Edward W. Ross, Jr. 

The Vegetable Roundup — From Buying to Cooking 174 

Michael A. Castille, Elsie H Dawson, Edward R. Thompson 

Nuts, a Shell Game That Pays Off in Good Eating 196 

Bernice K. McGeary and Malcolm E. Smith 

Cereals, the Staff of Life, Take on a New Importance in Today's World 205 
Andrea C. Mackey 

Baking Treats Ad Infinitum: Breads and Tasty Pastry 213 

Theresa A. Demus 

How to Avoid Confusion in Fats and Oils Buying or Use 226 

Lois T. Kilgore 

Sugar, Sweets Play Roles in Food Texture and Flavoring 232 

Verna A. Mikesh and Leona S. Nelson 

Beverages: Milk, Coffee, Teas, Juices, Chocolate 237 

Walter R. Moses and Margaret F. Tennant 

The Pedigreed Pickle Is Here: New Quality in Old Favorites 244 

Edward R. Thompson 

Be an Artful Seasoner With Spices and Herbs 249 

Helen Carlisle and Richard L. Hall 



Your Basic Food Needs: Nutrients for Life, Growth 254 

ThelmaJ. McMillan 

Creating Good Food Habits — Start Young, Never Quit 260 

Mary M. Hill 

A Scorecard on How We Americans Are Eating 266 

Faith Clark 

Smarten Up and Snack Right! Here's How to Do It 273 

Audrey C. Burkart 

Food Planning for Families at 3 Different Cost Levels 279 

Helen Denning Ullrich 

Money Stretching Ideas for Making Your Food Dollar Go F-u-r-t-h-e-r 286 
Ellen H. Semrow 

A Food Guide for the Ages, From Baby to Gramps 294 

Harvye Lewis 

Overweight, and What It Takes to Stay Trim 304 

Marjorie B. Washbon and Gail G. Harrison 

Nutritive Values of Foods, and Use of Tables Listing Them 315 

Bernice K. Watt 

Ways and Means of Improving Our Diets — and Half of Us Need to! 319 

Evelyn B. Spindler and Margaret C. Browne 

Entertaining Can Be Easy, If You Plan It Like This 325 

Judith A. Pheil 

Picnic Pointers and Frill-Free Ideas for Any Outdoor Meal 330 

Charlotte M. Dunn 

Community Meals: Organize, Watch Costs, and Serve Only Safe Food 339 
Irene H. Wolgamot and Margy Woodburn 

Decisions, Decisions! — Now It's All Up to You 348 

Ruth M. Leverton 

Photography 350 

Index 353 

to You 

""tta^rtJMI Uai 

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Wendell Clement 
Kenneth R. Farrell 

The Nation's 
Food Industry 
and You, the 

Perhaps no industry is taken more for 
granted than the food industry. 

As consumers, we have come to 
expect the supermarket shelves to be 
plentifully stocked with a wide choice 
of wholesome food, in the form and at 
the time we want it, day in and day 
out. But at the same time, how many 
of us ever stop to think about how the 
six to ten thousand items on these 
supermarket shelves got there? About 
the millions of individuals and billions 
of dollars required to produce and 
market food? About the fact that, as 
a Nation, we spend a smaller propor- 
tion of our take-home pay for food 
than in any other country in today's 

If you lived in almost any other 
country, or if we in this country still 
had a food industry like that of the 
1930's, most of us would have quite an 
adjustment to make in the way we shop 
for foods. We might be less inclined to 
take the industry for granted. 

Imagine, if you will, that when you 
buy your week's groceries you would 
have to go to one store for dry gro- 
ceries — canned foods, flour, sugar, 
cereal, coffee, and the like. Then move 

on to another for bread, rolls, cake, 
and cookies; find a produce store to 
get your fresh vegetables and fruit; 
a meat market, and maybe a still 
different place for fish. 

Next add to this a drug store for 
toothpaste, soap> and aspirin; a depart- 
ment store for hose, furniture polish, 
cleaning fluids, and everyday cups and 
saucers. And, before you even started 
this trek, you might have to go to a 
bank to cash a check. 

Today, we take for granted that all 
these foods, and many others not even 
produced in the 1930's, as well as 
everyday household needs — and check- 
cashing facilities too — will be available 
in our nearby supermarket so that 
we need make only one stop and be 
on our way home in about 30 minutes. 

It is difficult for most of us to 
realize that in many countries people 
cannot take for granted even an ade- 
quate supply of basic foods, let alone 
having them in the form and at the 
time desired and available at con- 
venient locations. Even today, hunger 
strikes two out of three of the world's 

While pockets of poverty still re- 
main in the United States, the food 
stamp and direct distribution pro- 
grams offer us the promise that one 
day soon all of our people will have 
adequate food supplies. 

Although we may take our food 
system for granted, the fact is that we 
depend highly upon it as consumers. 
So do millions of farmers who rely 
upon it to assemble, transport, process, 
package, and merchandise their com- 
modities and return to them incomes 
that will afford them a satisfactory 
living. In addition, several million 
persons employed in processing and 
distributing food depend upon this 
industry as a source of income. 
Considering all components — farmers, 
processors, retailers, and so on — the 
food industry is the largest in the 

Wendell Clement is Leader, Market Perform- 
ance Research Group, Marketing Economics Divi- 
sion, Economic Research Service. 

Kenneth R. Farrell is Acting Assistant Admini- 
strator, Economic Research Service. 

Sorting Florida oranges, before they are packed for fresh shipment. Oranges move from conveyor 
at right onto conveyors at left, where women remove offcolor and other defective fruit. 

United States in terms of numbers of 
persons employed. So, in one way or 
another, we are all highly dependent 
upon it. 

Few of us realize the magnitude of 
the task faced by the food industry in 
fulfilling our requirements for food 
and the many services we have come 
to expect. Consider the task faced by 
this industry in meeting all our expec- 
tations that the food will be available 
where and when we want it; in a form 
that we want; and at a price that will 
allow us to spend a large part of our 
income on other goods and services 
which we consider necessary for the 
good life. 

To get food where we want it, the 
marketing system must assemble prod- 
ucts from farms across the country. 
These must be sorted for uniformity 
and combined into units suitable for 
ease of handling and shipping. On 
the way from the farm to our grocery 
stores, food travels through a host of 
middlemen — packers, processors, ware- 
house operators, and wholesalers. Dur- 

ing this roundabout trip, we expect 
the quality and wholesomeness to be 
preserved — particularly in fresh foods 
which, today, often travel long dis- 
tances. All this must be a continuous 
process. New supplies must arrive at 
local warehouses and wholesalers al- 
most daily. Getting foods where we 
want them requires a well-coordinated 
and dependable transportation system. 

Making supplies available when we 
want them requires a lot of storage 
space. If foods were not stored during 
seasonal surpluses, we might be faced 
with periods of feast and famine. 
Each year at the end of the growing 
season, when supplies are plentiful, 
fresh products are stored in specially 
equipped warehouses. Processed foods 
are stockpiled. In addition to insuring 
a regular flow of food throughout the 
year, this also helps to stabilize prices. 

Perhaps the greatest demands placed 
on the food industry result from the 
form in which we want our food. Due 
to our different social, cultural, and 
economic backgrounds, we possess a 




Food Pioceuou ;■;■'."/'■ >&,'^i'^- i »'^ r -- 
Wholesale Pmessois Riw feed ifeiW 



wide variety of tastes. And each of us 
expects to find what we like. Multi- 
plying this by 60 million families 
results in a myriad of different wants 
and expectations. For example, one 
shopper may want a 2-inch cut of 
prime tenderloin steak; another may 
want thin-sliced pork chops. Some 
may want only fresh fruits and vege- 
tables and cake flour, shortening, sug- 
ar, and eggs for a cake. An employed 
homemaker, pushed for time, may 
want all the convenience she can buy 
so meals at home can be quickly and 
easily prepared. A gourmet may hunt 
for the unusual food or one he had 
on his last trip abroad. 

As we have become more affluent, 
we have not only demanded higher 
quality foods but foods with built-in 
chef services and convenience features. 
More foods are processed than ever 
before; frozen foods, high in quality 
and uniformity, are commonplace; so 
are dehydrated and precooked foods. 
Foods are packaged in containers of 
various size, shape, and composition 
to meet family needs and to provide 
maximum convenience in handling 
and storage in the home. As a result, 
retailers must stock a wide variety of 
foods in many forms to meet our di- 

verse needs as consumers. Each year, 
large sums of money are spent by the 
industry developing new product forms 
or improving old ones. Many are ac- 
cepted by consumers but are soon 
followed by a newer, more convenient 
or improved product. And so, the 
industry is constantly changing, each 
change designed to improve the firm's 
position in the marketplace and to 
gain the favor of the quality-minded, 
convenience-seeking consumer. 

All along the way, our food industry 
has done much to maintain quality 
and sanitation standards. Starting at 
the farm, foods are sorted so that they 
can be sold on the basis of grades and 
other quality indications. More than 
350 Federal grade standards and spec- 
ifications have been set for foods, in- 
cluding meat, poultry, dairy products, 
fruits, and vegetables. 

Many laws and regulations are de- 
signed to assure us wholesome, safe 
food. Most cities have ordinances that 
specify standards for the production 
and marketing of milk. The Federal 
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act pro- 
hibits the movement of adulterated 
and misbranded foods from one State 
to another. 

The Meat Inspection and Poultry 
Products Inspection Acts have been 
important in regulating wholesome- 
ness of these products. The laws pro- 
vide for Federal inspection of red meat 
and all poultry products sold across 
State borders. The laws were strength- 
ened recently to require that products 
sold within the State must be State-in- 
spected under standards which are 
equal to Federal inspection. 

In addition to providing us with 
food where, when, and in the form we 
want it, our food industry has kept 
its prices reasonable, relative to the 
prices of many other goods and serv- 
ices important in our economy and to 
the rising incomes of most Americans. 
In recent years, food prices have been 
rising — largely as the result of more 
built-in services and higher costs of 
labor and materials. But the fact is 
that, today, we spend a smaller share 
of our take-home pay for food than 

at any point in the history of our 
Nation. And for this smaller share, 
we are buying a wider assortment of 
foods — foods of higher quality with 
more services, and larger quantities of 
higher priced ones as well, like meat. 
Although we spend more dollars for 
our food, we have added many more 
dollars to our paychecks. 
• These achievements are even more 
impressive when we realize that there . 
have been inflationary tendencies in 
most parts of the American economy 
since the end of World War II. The 
achievements would not have been 
possible without a greatly increased 
efficiency to offset the constantly rising 
costs of labor, materials, and other 
things that the food industry uses. 

In the past two decades, improve- 
ments in efficiency have been made at 
all levels of the food system. Output 
per manhour has increased at an 
annual rate of 4 percent in food proc- 
essing and 3 percent in food distribu- 
tion. These productivity increases were 
made possible by large investments in 
plants and equipment, by adoption of 
new and improved techniques of han- 
dling, processing, and selling food, and 
by better management. 

But the most spectacular gains in 
efficiency have come at the farm level. 
Increases in output per manhour have 
averaged about 6 percent per year. 
The importance of these gains is more 
apparent when we realize that in 1 950, 
one farmworker supplied enough farm 
products for about 15 people, and 
today he supplies enough for nearly 
three times as many. These gains in 
productivity have been important in 

holding food costs in line and allowing 
us more money to buy other goods 
and services. 

How is the vast food industry coor- 
dinated? How are the requirements of 
more than 200 million consumers of 
food matched with the actions of thou- 
sands of retailers, processors, trans- 
porters, and about 3 million farmers? 
What guides the industry in producing 
the foods and services when, where, 
and in the form wanted by consumers? 

The guiding hand in such decisions is 
a highly developed and decentralized 
exchange system. When a homemaker 
purchases food at the supermarket, 
she transmits, in effect, a signal to the 
industry expressing her preferences 
and ability to buy. When she pur- 
chases one food instead of another, or 
one with more built-in services instead 
of an unprocessed or unpackaged food, 
the industry has a basis for planning its 
production and marketing activities. 

These signals are transmitted from 
one part of the industry to another 
by means of a system of markets and 
prices, or other arrangements, such 
as contracts. For example, if a retailer 
finds that customers at his store are 
willing to purchase more of a food at 
a certain price, he may instruct his 
wholesale buyer or his buyer in the 
area where the product is produced to 
increase his purchases at a specified 
price. At each market there will be 
sellers anxious to get as much for this 
product as possible. So, bargaining be- 
tween buyer and seller takes place, and 
ultimately the product changes owner- 
ship and becomes available to us, the 

Although the markets for food are 
much more complicated than this 
simple illustration indicates, farmers, 
processors, retailers, and others in the 
industry depend upon them to provide 
guidance in their decisions of what, 
when, and where to produce and sell. 
This market mechanism is not perfect 
and it cannot instantaneously match 
consumer desires with supplies at each 
segment of the industry, but it does 
operate well over long periods of time. 

Though we sometimes overlook this 
exchange system and the part it plays 
in guiding decisions in the food in- 
dustry, its role is a vital one. Farmers 
and marketers depend upon the ex- 
change system to yield prices that will 
reward them fairly and equitably, as 
well as to provide reliable guidance in 
their production decisions. As con- 
sumers, we are interested in having 
our preferences expressed at various 
levels of the industry as clearly and 
efficiently as is possible. For these 
reasons, various laws and regulations 
have been adopted to prevent unfair 
or inequitable practices in buying and 
in selling. 

Putting all this together, we can see 
why a large and complex industrial 
network has emerged to meet our 
needs. This network is called "agri- 
business." It begins with firms which 
supply products — such as seeds, fertil- 
izers, petroleum products, and farm 
machinery — used by farmers in the 
production process. It includes the 
millions of farmworkers who till the 
land and harvest the crops. Added to 
these are the coundess marketing firms 
involved in processing and moving 
the product from farmer to consumer. 

The economic importance of this 
agribusiness complex is indicated by 
the amount of capital invested. The 
total assets now invested amount to 
more than $350 billion, two-thirds of 
which are invested at the farm level. 
Processing and distributing firms ac- 
count for another fourth, and the sup- 
pliers of agricultural products for the 

More than 23 million people, or 
about 30 percent of the total U.S. 
work force, are employed in this agri- 
business complex. Of these, the farm 
firms and farm supply firms together 

Livestock auction in Colorado. Electric scoreboard gives gross and average weight of stock lots. 

Chicago Board of Trade, one of Nation's major food exchanges. The "pits" where buying and 
selling take place are enclosed by steps. 

employ about 1 1 million ; processing 
and distribution firms employ some 
12 million. 

By almost any measure, our food 
industry is large and of considerable 
economic and social significance. How 
well it operates is of concern to each 
of us, for we as consumers are the 
energizers which make the wheels of 
this big industrial complex turn. As 
such, we have our responsibilities to 
the food industry as well as the food 
industry to us. But perhaps our most 
important responsibility is to exercise 
intelligent choices in selecting products 
and in patronizing stores. Intelligent 
choice on our part drives the com- 
petitive wheels of industry to provide 
quality services and products. It also 
motivates firms to improve efficiency 
and search for better ways of getting 
things done. 

We need to be informed about the 
food industry and the way it operates, 
to foster a healthy and enlightened 
attitude towards this industry and 
the public policies relating to it. We 
should understand, for example, that 
without profits the current investment 
of more than $350 billion would not 
have been made. Reasonable profits 
are necessary to attract capital to 

build stores in our communities, con- 
struct processing plants, and purchase 
farmlands. The costs of the many 
built-in food services are also incor- 
porated into the price of the product. 
And, overall, the cost of doing business 
in the food industry is rising as it is 
in other industries. 

As citizens, we should understand 
and support public policies which are 
aimed at maintaining and fostering an 
efficient, progressive, and responsive 
food industry. Public policies are 
needed which promote fair competi- 
tion among participants in the food 
industry so that efficient firms can 
survive and grow. Then too, if we 
demand that the food industry be 
honest with us, we should deal fairly 
with it. Bad checks, pilferage, and 
destruction of property are examples 
of acts which add to marketing costs 
and to our food bill. 

All of this implies that we as con- 
sumers ought to be knowledgeable 
about the food industry. Consumer 
education programs are important in 
providing this information. Workshops 
and study groups might be usefully 
employed. Homemakers could involve 
their own teenagers in planning the 
food budget and buying. 


Donald D. Durost 

Where Food 

the Farmer 
and His Farm 

Few of us ever stop to think about how 
much food we eat in a year. And, 
probably, even fewer of us ever con- 
sider how much our more than 200 
million Americans eat. You may find 
it hard to believe, yet each of us eats 
nearly three-quarters of a ton every 
365 days! This amounts to nearly 3 
tons a year for a family of four and a 
whopping 150 million tons to feed us 
all. It's the job of our farmers and 
commercial fishermen to provide most 
of this. The rest, around 10 percent 
of our total food, is imported from 
countries around the world. 

So many of us live in cities that we 
tend to take for granted the lavish 
supply of foods at our grocery. As we 
wheel our carts around to select what 
our families want, we seldom consider 
what it has taken to get all this food 
to our neighborhood supermarket. 
We city folks frequently hear about 
farmers, but some of us have never 
been on a farm and few of us really 
know the part farmers play in getting 
food ready for its trek to market — to 
provide us with the most abundant 
food supply in the world. 

Few nations are capable of produc- 
ing enough food for all their people. 


For a country to do this, it must be 
blessed with a rich supply of natural 
resources, good workers, and money 
enough to keep pace with changing 
technology in this rapidly changing 
world of ours. 

We've been very fortunate in having 
more than our share of natural re- 
sources. Our country is located in the 
temperate zone, has a wide range of 
climate and many types of land. This 
makes possible the great variety of 
crops and livestock that we produce — 
including wheat, corn, tomatoes, or- 
anges, beef, and milk. 

Production of all this food is not 
planned by some central agency. It 
is the result of 3 million sets of deci- 
sions made by 3 million farmers. It 
is they who decide what crops and 
how many acres of each will be pro- 
duced. And a declining number of our 
farmers have been able to supply 
ample food for a constandy increasing 

Our 50 States have a total area of 
nearly 2.3 billion acres, with about 
half of this taken up as farms. Forests 
and rangeland take another third and 
parks and wastelands, such as the 
western desert, about a sixth. The 
rest, only about 55 million acres, or a 
mere 4 percent, is used for our cities, 
towns, roads, and airports. Although 
farms take up a fair share of our land, 
there's still enough left that can be 
used for producing more food when 
it's needed. 

Our farms come in different sizes, 
produce different kinds of food, and 
are managed in different ways. They 
fall somewhere between the extremes 
of small family farms with a few 
cows and chickens, a pig or two, a 
garden, and a few acres to raise food 
to sell, and the very large farms of a 
thousand acres or more, owned by 
individuals, cooperatives, or corpora- 
tions and operated by managers and 
hired labor. 

Accordingly, a farmer may run his 

Donald D. Durost is an Economist with the 
Farm Production Economics Division, Economic 
Research Service. 

Combine operator examines newly threshed 
soybeans on Ohio farm. 

own small farm or a 320 acre spread 
where he raises grain and livestock. 
He may be a catdeman who owns a 
small farm and rents a thousand acres 
of range country. He may be a man 
who operates a big farm for someone 
else, or a sharecropper with a few 
acres. Yet in our country, farming is 
the only major industry where family 
groups make up the largest share of 
the labor force. Farmers and their 
unsalaried family members constitute 
almost three-fourths of the 5 million 
workers on farms. Only about a mil- 
lion are paid workers. 

In addition to differences in size 
and the kind of employees, farms also 
differ in what they produce. Some 
grow fruits and vegetables, some pro- 
duce livestock and poultry, and still 
others produce cotton and tobacco. 
Though some crops and livestock are 

produced in all parts of the country, 
the kinds and amount vary somewhat 
by region. Soil conditions, climate, 
and even how far it is to the nearest 
or best market influence decisions on 
what and how much to grow. 

If we travel around the country, wc 
find that the Northeastern States — 
from Maine to Maryland — and those 
bordering on the Great Lakes — from 
New York out to Minnesota — are the 
Nation's principal milk-producing 
areas. Climate and soil in these States 
are suited to raising grains and forage 
for cattle and for providing pasture- 
land for grazing. Broiler farming has 
become important in Maine — and 
from New Jersey to Maryland. The 
half million farms in the Northeast 
and Lake States, which average about 
190 acres each, provide 17 percent of 
our farm products. 

The some half million farms a little 
farther south in the Appalachian 
region — West Virginia to North Caro- 
lina, Kentucky, and Tennessee — are 
somewhat smaller in size, averaging 
only 122 acres. Though these farms 
produce commodities such as peanuts, 
catde, and milk, their main product 
is tobacco. 

Going still farther south along the 
Adantic Coast, farms start getting a 
litde larger again. About a quarter of 
a million farms averaging 220 acres 
each are important for cotton and 
broilers. Some vegetables, such as 
sweetpotatoes, are grown in this area 
along with peanuts. And, of course, 
there are the big Florida citrus groves. 

Traveling west to the Southern Delta 
States — to Mississippi, Louisiana, and 
Arkansas — we find another quarter of 
a million farms about the same size as 
in Appalachia, that concentrate on 
raising cotton. Some rice and soybeans 
are also grown and livestock is being 
produced in larger numbers than 

As we turn and go north, we come 
to what is frequently called the "bread- 
basket" of America. The eastern part 
of this is known as the Corn Belt and 
the area a litde farther west as the 
Great Plains. 

The Corn Belt, extending from cen- 
tral Ohio to the Nebraska border, is a 
region with rich soil, good climate, and 
sufficient rainfall for excellent farming. 
And, its 643,000 farms provide nearly 
one-fourth of our food supply — corn, 
beef, and pork as well as soybeans and 
some wheat. 

The Great Plains, which extend 
north and south from Canada to Mex- 
ico and from the Corn Belt on the east 
to the Rocky Mountain States on the 
west, are quite different in character 
from the Midwest corn country. Here 
the one-half million farms, averaging 
680 acres in size, supply a fifth of our 
food. The flatness of die land, and the 
small amounts of rain in this area, 
gready influence what can be pro- 
duced. In addition, in the northern 
part — in the Dakotas and as far south 
as Kansas — winters are cold and snowy 
so the growing season is relatively 
short. Nevertheless, nearly 60 percent 
of our wheat is produced in the Great 
Plains. In the southern part — Okla- 
homa and Texas — cotton and catde 
are important. 

The Mountain States — from Idaho 
and Montana to New Mexico and 
Arizona — provide us with a still differ- 
ent terrain. Vast areas of this region 
are particularly suited to raising catde 
and sheep. Irrigation in the valleys 
provides water for such crops as sugar 
beets, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. 
The 134,000 farms and ranches in 
these States are the largest in the 
country as they average over 2,000 
acres in size. 

In our trek across the country, we 
now reach the West Coast. Farms are 
smaller here than in the Mountain 
States, but still large by most standards. 
The 151,000 farms in our Pacific Coast 
States average about 500 acres in 
size. Those in the south specialize in 
raising fruits and vegetables; wheat 
and fruit are important in the northern 
part. Catde are raised throughout the 
entire region. 

Finally, we come to the newest 
States in the Union, Alaska and 
Hawaii. These States provide only a 
small part of our total farm output. 


Dairy and poultry products are the 
major foods produced upon the 300 
Alaskan farms. The long summer days 
make possible Alaska production of 
potatoes, lettuce, carrots, and cabbage. 
Hawaii has 4,700 farms. Pineapples 
and sugarcane are the major crops. 
The mild climate makes possible die 
production of bananas, coffee, maca- 
damia nuts, and papayas. 

This takes us around the country — 
showing us where most of our food 
comes from and why. Now let's take 
a closer look at our farms and farmers. 

Our world has been changing fast 
and most of us have felt the impact 
of the changes that have taken place. 
Farmers are no exception. Probably 
no other major group in our society 
has had to deal with so much change 
in so short a time. 

At one time, farming was a way of 
life ; now it's a mighty serious business. 
Before World War II, farmers made up 
a large share of our population. Since 
then, more people have left the farms 
than now are living on them. Today, 
only one in 20 Americans lives on a 
farm. In the years gone by, a father 
could expect a son to take over his 
farm when he was too old to run it. 
Today, sons and daughters seek 
better jobs in the city and are likely to 
sell the farms they inherit to someone 
else who needs more land. 

Since 1950, the number of farms 
has gone down significantly, but the 
amount of land being farmed has 
changed littie. Today there are around 
3 million farms, about half as many 
as in 1950. During these same years, 
the size of the average farm increased 
from 225 to 360 acres. And more than 
half of the farms sold in recent years 
were bought by fanners to enlarge 
their own holdings. 

Though we have far fewer farmers 
today than what seems like only 
yesterday, those who have stayed have 
more than met the needs of a growing 
population. Since 1950, our popula- 
tion has increased 32 percent; our 
food supplies have gone up 41 percent. 
In addition, agricultural exports have 
nearly doubled. 

All this has come about because 
farmers have adopted new technolo- 
gies, mechanized their farms, and 
improved their management opera- 
tions. It has been achieved because 
they have better seeds, insecticides, 
and fertilizers. They use more tractors, 
trucks, and harvesting machines. With 
this greater mechanization of their 
work, they plant and harvest more 
acres with fewer hired hands. 

Family farms continue to be the 
backbone of our Nation's agriculture. 
These may vary considerably in size. 
On a family farm, more than half the 
work is done by the farmer and his 
family. According to this definition, 
95 percent of all our farms are family 
farms. And they account for 65 percent 
of the products going to market. 

But we have other kinds of farms, 
too — the large, commercial farms. 
These, larger-than-family-size, have an 
almost factory-type system of opera- 
tion. Most of them are in California, 
Arizona, southern Texas, and Florida. 

The decrease in the number of our 
farms and the increase in size doesn't 
necessarily mean that this trend will 
continue at the same pace as in the 
recent past. When a farmer increases 
the size of his farm to take advantage 
of new technologies, he also increases 
his investments and costs. Today, if 
farming is his only source of income, 
he must sell products worth at least 
$10,000 to provide his family with a 
minimum level of living. 

Not all farms produce enough to 
bring in $10,000 a year. Many do not 
even try or want to do so. Some are 
meant to be part-time or retirement 
farms only. 

On the other hand, some factory- 
type farms can produce enough to 
bring in hundreds of thousands of 
dollars a year. 

About 43 percent of our farms have 
sales amounting to less than $2,500 
a year. These account for only about 3 
percent of our food. Some are retire- 
ment farms; others are subsistence 
farms where family members are un- 
deremployed. On the average, those 
living on farms with sales falling in 

this dollar range receive more than 
five times as much income from off- 
farm work as from farming. 

About one-fourth of the farms sell 
between $2,500 and $10,000 worth of 
products and account for about 12 
percent of all sales. Few of these will 
provide a satisfactory level of living 
unless supplemented by other income. 

The rest of our farms, now less than 
1 million, but gradually increasing in 
number, have gross sales of $10,000 or 
more and provide 85 percent of our 
farm products. Among these, however, 
are more than 30,000 farms with sales 
of at least $100,000 a year. Though 
such big operations represent only 
about 1 percent of all farms, they ac- 
count for almost a fourth of all sales — 
over 60 percent of our vegetables ; 45 
percent of the fruit and nuts; and 35 
percent of all poultry and poultry 

To sum up, the average size of our 
3 million plus farms is 360 acres; 
farmers sell livestock and crops valued 
at $14,000 per farm; and their aver- 
age net income is $4,500 a year. As 
mentioned earlier, some farmers have 
regular work off the farm; others may 
take jobs during slack periods. Even 
families on farms with $40,000 or 
more sales average $5,000 a year from 
nonfarm sources. 

Farmers are specialists, too. A major 
change that has taken place in farming 
is the trend toward greater speciali- 
zation — raising fewer kinds of crops 
or livestock, buying more of the seeds 
and feed, and using more mechanical 
equipment — tractors and milking ma- 
chines, and so on. Today, the average 
farm has between three and four major 
enterprises, compared with over five 
before World War II. Though there 
still are some advantages to diversified 
farming — raising more kinds of prod- 
ucts — there are important reasons for 
specializing. It takes a high degree of 
skill and knowledge to compete suc- 
cessfully in producing one farm prod- 
uct. A farmer who does well uses 
knowledge of genetics, land and water 
conservation, and business manage- 
ment. He performs many jobs with 


complex tools and machines. He com- 
bines science and machine power with 
the ancient arts of tilling the soil. 

A farmer must consider costs when 
deciding what to produce, and costs 
that must be met before he receives a 
return on his investment vary greatly 
by crops. For example, the cost per 
acre for the better-than-average farmer 
is $18.20 for wheat, $47.25 for corn, 
and up to $103.50 for cotton. 

On the average, farmers spend 70 
cents out of every dollar of sales for 
production expenses. This varies by 
size of farm, ranging from about 50 
cents per dollar sales by small farms 
to 80 cents by farms with sales of more 
than $40,000 a year. As the size of a 
farm increases, farmers must purchase 
more fertilizers, pesticides, gas and 
oil, and other nonfarm goods. And 
the larger the farm, the more hired 
workers there are to pay. 

Farmers are large purchasers of 
tractors, trucks, automobiles, and other 
equipment. They buy about one of 
every eight trucks that are sold. In a 
recent year, they spent over $1 billion 
for tractors, $1.3 billion for auto- 
mobiles, and $2.5 billion for machinery 
like plows, planters, and harvesting 
machines. And, of course, as with 

other industries, as the years go by 
these wear out or become obsolete 
and have to be replaced. 

Most crops have benefited from the 
use of new and improved technologies. 
For example, since 1950 corn yields 
have more than doubled — from 38 to 
79 bushels per acre. Cotton yields 
also have nearly doubled, going from 
269 to 51 1 pounds. Wheat yields went 
from 16.5 to 28.4 bushels an acre and 
soybeans edged up from around 22 
to 27 bushels. 

A major problem for a farmer, 
however, is the variability in prices he 
gets for his products. His income can 
fluctuate widely from year to year — 
and even within a season. Farm 
production is not a continuous process. 
Usually it covers a period of only a few 
months. During this time, crops can 
be badly damaged by weather, in- 
sects, or disease. And unlike most 
manufacturing industries, a farmer has 
almost no control over how much 
his farm will produce once the crop is 
planted — how many bushels of wheat 
per acre, for example. Wide swings in 
prices are common. In 1964, farmers 
received $14.80 for hogs, per 100 
pounds. This rose to $22.80 in 1966 
and then dropped back to $18.63 in 

This Louisiana farmer increases his profits by storing rice in bins on farm, and selling it when 

the market is most favorable. 

1968. The same and sometimes even 
greater ups and downs occur in prices 
of other commodities as well. 

At the same time that prices may 
fluctuate widely, the things a farmer 
has to buy may be going up steadily 
in price. This increases his risk, already 
great. Some farmers, in an effort to 
reduce their risk, enter into informal 
or formal agreements with other agri- 
cultural-related businesses like feed 
dealers and processors. Such an agree- 
ment may let the related business share 
in management decisions. These ar- 
rangements are referred to as coordi- 
nated farming. 

Various forms of farm and business 
arrangements have existed for a long 
time in commercial fruit and tree nut 
production. Contract farming now ac- 
counts for about two-thirds of the 
vegetables produced for canning and 
freezing. Most of today's broiler pro- 
duction is a joint undertaking between 
farmers and processors. Men employed 
by the processor do much of the poul- 
try farm management. Production is 
concentrated in operations that make 
the fullest use of labor-saving equip- 
ment. In this way, poultry raisers re- 
duce their risks and get a guaranteed 
income for themselves. 

The sugar beet industry is another 
example of contract farming. Nearly 
all sugar beet growers have contracts 
with processors to insure a market. 
Sugar beets are heavy, bulky, and 
perishable. They are grown under con- 
tracts which guarantee a market for 
farmers and supplies for the processor. 
Negotiated contracts tie the price of 
the sugar beets to that of sugar. These 
specify the acreage to be planted, seeds 
and growing methods to be used, dates 
beets are to be delivered to the proces- 
sor, marketing practices to be used, 
and even when the farmer will be paid. 

All these changes calling for larger 
investments and more specialization 
have resulted in an increase in effi- 
ciency. Farmers have made the best 
record in this respect of all our indus- 
tries. Since 1950, the amount of work, 
per man, per hour, working in agri- 
culture has increased at a rate of 

nearly 6 percent a year compared with 
2.5 percent for all other industries. 
In other words, one farmer now pro- 
duces enough food for almost three 
times as many persons as he did back 
in 1950. 

The share of workers employed on 
farms provides a good measure of a 
nation's productivity. In our country, 
only 6 percent of the total labor force 
works on farms. This compares with 
10 and 18 percent in developed coun- 
tries like West Germany and France. 
About 40 percent of all Soviet Union 
workers are on farms. In less developed 
countries such as India and Pakistan 
approximately three-quarters of the 
labor force works on farms. 

What does all this mean to those of 
us who live in cities? 

This abundance has helped raise our 
standard of living and to provide us 
with an unprecedented quantity, qual- 
ity, and variety of food at the lowest 
cost in relation to our take-home pay 
in this Nation's history. This has left 
us more income for other things — 
houses, cars, college educations. 

A second contribution of the con- 
tinuing rise in agricultural produc- 
tivity is the release of manpower to 
other sectors of the economy where 
they can make significant contribu- 
tions in industry, die professions, and 
in the defense efforts of our country. 

The release of manpower from our 
farms had its social and economic 
costs, however. Many of the released 
workers are poorly equipped in terms 
of skills, education, and personal re- 
sources for nonfarm occupations. As 
workers move from the farm to the 
city, some find the city has little to 
offer except unemployment or low 
paying, insecure jobs. They simply 
add to the already existing problems 
of unemployment and poverty. 

A third benefit has been the crea- 
tion of many jobs in the nonfarm 
section of the economy. Farmers spend 
more than $34 billion a year for goods 
and services to produce crops and 
livestock. Added to this, about $15 
billion goes for the same things that 
city people buy — food, clothing, and 


Wheat combines on the job in Nebraska. Farm machinery is constantly being modified and 


other consumer products and services. 

Every year farmers purchase prod- 
ucts containing about 5 million tons of 
steel and some 320 million pounds of 
rubber — enough to put tires on nearly 
6 million automobiles. 

They use more petroleum than any 
other single industry — and more elec- 
tricity than all of the people and in- 
dustries in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, 
Baltimore, Houston, and Washington, 
D.C., combined. 

These are today's farms and farmers. 

But what about the future? What is 
being predicted for farms and farmers? 

It is forecast that by the turn of 
the century the American farmer will 
be freed from the arduous and time- 
consuming demands of planting and 


harvesting. Some see him sitting in an 
air-conditioned farm office, scanning 
a printout from a computer center. 
This computer center will help him 
decide how many acres to plant, what 
kinds of seeds to sow, what kind and 
how much fertilizer to apply, exactly 
what his soil composition is, and even 
what day to harvest each crop. 

They foresee other things as well: 

Automated machinery directed by 
tape-controlled programs and super- 
vised by television scanners mounted 
on towers. 

Robot harvesters to carry out high 
speed picking, grading, packaging, and 

Crop yields per acre double and 
triple those of 1969. 

H. E. Crowther 

The Water's 
Harvest Fish 
of All Kinds 
for Oor Tables 

The farmer must sow before he can 
reap. Fishermen can reap without sow- 
ing, for most fish are hunted rather 
than farmed. As with our farmers, 
commercial marine fishermen are af- 
fected by nature's whims. Not only are 
they concerned about the weather, but 
water temperatures and ocean currents 
as well. The farmer can protect his 
land with a fence and "posted" signs, 
and can brand his catde as a sign 
of ownership. Coastal areas may be 
"posted" by State regulations, and 
sections of the ocean may be protected 
by international agreement; but there 
are no fences in the open sea. 

An unnetted fish has no owner and 
no nationality. The American fisher- 
man must take his chances, not only 
against the elements, but also against 
foreign competition. 

Most of our Nation's fishing fleet is 
made up of small boats of less than 5 
net tons. "Vessels," which are larger, 
account for about 15 percent of our 
fleet of around 82,000, and catch a 
large percentage of our fish. Though 
many craft in our fleet are at least 20 
years old, the number of "vessels" being 
built is increasing. Recendy, two trawl- 
ers were built, each 300 feet long — one 

to operate in the Adantic, the other 
in the Pacific. These "factory ships" 
are the largest fishing vessels ever built 
in the United States. They are more 
powerful, have wider range. Most ves- 
sels have been built for shrimp and 
tuna fisheries, the two most prosperous 
segments of our fishing industry. 

Around 225,000 persons are em- 
ployed in the marine fisheries, about 60 
percent as fishermen and the rest as 
shoreworkers. The number of these 
employees has been going down, even 
though the number of the processing 
plants has been increasing. 

The commercial marine fishing in- 
dustry is not a single entity. It is a 
combination of industries, and each 
industry may be broken down by 
location — as the Maine shrimp or 
the Gulf shrimp industry — and then 
within these by functional classes — pro- 
ducers (fishermen), processors, and 

During the last 30 years, some major 
changes have taken place. Catches of 
Pacific mackerel, sardines, Adantic 
cod, and haddock have gone down 
while landings of shrimp, crab, clams, 
flounder, and tuna have increased. 
Generally, declines have been greatest 
in the older fisheries, especially those 
off the New England and Pacific 
coasts. In 1967, die Pacific sardine 
fishery, once our largest, took only 
100,000 pounds, less than one-hun- 
dredth of 1 percent of the record catch 
of 1.5 billion in 1936. By contrast, the 
Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Alaska 
are producing more than ever, and 
their potential still has not yet been 

In 1967, shrimp fishermen took a 
record catch of 312 million pounds 
which had a dockside value of $103 
million. This was the first time that 
domestic fishermen had received $100 
million or more for a single year's 
harvest. During this same year, the 
tuna industry had one of its best years. 
The catch landed in the continental 
United States and in Hawaii came to 

H. E. Crowther is Director, Bureau of Com- 
mercial Fisheries, Department of the Interior. 


At left, catfish raised in a big Mississippi 
fish farming operation. Below, harvesting 
catfish at Louisiana fish farm. 


h e 


329 million pounds — valued at nearly 
$45 million, the largest since 1956. 
The tuna fishing industry has over- 
come some of its foreign competition 
through improved efficiency. 

North Atlantic and North Pacific 
fisheries have been particularly sus- 
ceptible to foreign competition on the 
fishing grounds and in the market- 
place. Both haddock in the Adantic 
and halibut in the Pacific have suffered 
the effects of heavy fishing by foreign 
fleets. Several years of poor spawning 
have also hurt the haddock fishery. 

The last decade has seen the com- 
mercial catch increasingly supple- 
mented through cultivation of both 
freshwater and saltwater species. In 
the freshwater "fish-farming," pond- 
grown trout and catfish have 
developed into multimillion dollar in- 
dustries. On our West Coast, the 
salmon released by hatcheries are 
caught by sportsmen and commercial 
fishermen. In estuarine areas such as 
coastal bays and river mouths, man- 
aged beds produce more than half the 
oysters harvested in the United States. 

Shrimp culture, already an old 
story in some Asiatic countries, has 
caught the popular imagination. All 
along the coast, a veritable frenzy of 
research by university scientists, gov- 
ernment agencies, industry, and ama- 
teurs is aimed at adding this tasty 
crustacean to the list of our "home- 
growns." Work is also being done on 
pompano, clams, lobsters, abalone, 
and mussels. 

While the U.S. catch has remained 
relatively static, some of the other 
nations have increased theirs steadily. 
Japan's catch is 50 percent larger now 
than it was a decade ago. The Soviet 
Union has doubled its catch. Peru has 
become one of the leading fishery 
nations with nearly 20 billion pounds 
a year — a fourfold increase within the 
past 10 years. It has made dramatic 
strides in its anchovy fishery. 

The United States, with less than 
7 percent of the world population, 
uses about 1 1 percent of the world's 
catch of fish — including around 44 
percent of the tuna and about 35 
percent of the world's shrimp. 

About 70 percent of all our fish and 
shellfish is brought in from other 
countries — about 60 percent of the 
tuna, 50 percent of the shrimp, and 
90 percent of the spiny lobster. 

In recent years, total utilization of 
fish in the United States has climbed 
steadily. The total supplies (domestic 
catch plus imports) in 1957 were 
slightly above 7 billion pounds, but 
by 1967 this had increased to more 
than 14 billion pounds, a new record. 
Edible fishery products made up 
approximately 36 percent of the 1967 
figure, and the rest went into indus- 
trial uses, primarily as a rapid growth 
additive in poultry and cattle feed. 

Commercial fishing, like agricul- 
ture and other industries, has its 
expanding and contracting sectors. 
Government and industry are taking 
advantage of the latest scientific and 
technological advances. And improved 
transportation facilities are making 
fresh, wholesome products available 
to expanded markets. Considerable 
research effort is being directed to- 
ward the discovery and development 
of new fishery resources — a new shrimp 
fishery off the coast of Maine — a 
scallop fishery off Alaska with a high 
rate of catch and high prices — ex- 
tensive calico scallop beds off the 
eastern coast of Florida — encourage- 
ment of the tanner crab fishery to 
partly offset the reduced abundance of 
the King crab. 

Still, although Americans seem to 
enjoy eating fish, and although the 
United States is one of the world's 
most attractive markets, our narrow 
preferences make it difficult for any 
new fishery products to be developed 
quickly or easily. 


Frederick D. Gray 

That Coffee 
From Brazil, 
and Other 
Food Imports 

Have you ever wondered, as you drank 
your cup of coffee or tea, and sprinkled 
cinnamon on your toast or pepper on 
your steak, where they came from? 
These foods have been around so long 
that you probably don't realize they 
may have traveled halfway across the 
world to get to your kitchen! 

But coffee, tea, and spices are only 
a few of the many products we buy 
from 150 countries around the globe. 
Our food imports amount to more 
than $3 billion each year. They repre- 
sent about 13 percent of all agricul- 
tural goods we buy abroad. Only the 
United Kingdom and West Germany 
import more food than we do. About 
two-fifths of our agricultural imports 
are products we don't raise in this 
country. Besides coffee, tea, and spices, 
our imports include cocoa, sugar, 
bananas, beef and pork, and some 
dairy products such as cheese. 

Coffee is the most important food 
brought into this country. As one of 
the world's biggest coffee drinkers, we 
buy nearly half the world's supply. 
Over a billion dollars a year is spent 
to supply each of us with an average 
of 750 cups of coffee a year. 

Two major types are imported — the 


milder flavored Arabica varieties, 
primarily grown in Central and South 
America, and more strongly flavored 
Robusta varieties from Africa and 
Asia. The milder Arabica varieties 
are used in roasted blends and repre- 
sent about three-quarters of all coffee 
imports. Robusta varieties are largely 
used in instant coffees. But recendy, 
increasing quantities are being used in 
roasted blends as well. 

Though we can't compete with the 
English, we still drink a lot of tea, at 
least iced tea — 143 million pounds of 
tea a year or nearly $60 million worth. 
About half of our tea comes from 
far-off Ceylon — the island which the 
inhabitants maintain was really the 
locale of the Garden of Eden. Some 
tea comes from Japan where it may 
have been grown on hillsides facing 
beautiful Mount Fujiyama. Both black 
and green teas are imported. The more 
completely fermented black teas repre- 
sent most of what we consume. 

Even more important than tea are 
imports of cocoa beans and semiproc- 
essed cocoa and chocolate products. 
Each year the total imports amount to 
nearly $200 million. More than half 
of the cocoa beans come from Africa ; 
most of the rest are from Central and 
South America. In general, there are 
two types, the regular beans which 
account for 95 percent of the imports 
and the flavor beans. This latter type, 
though small in quantity, sells for 
premium prices. The largest share of 
these products — 85 percent — is used 
for candies, sirups, and similar items. 

Sugar is the second most important 
food shipped into this country. Each 
year we import nearly half the sugar 
we use — over 5 million tons at a cost 
of more than $600 million. Latin 
America supplies over half of this, the 
Philippines around a fourth. 

Altogether we take about 20 percent 
of the sugar that moves in world trade. 
Most of it is cane sugar, which typi- 
cally comes in as raw sugar, and then is 

Frederick D. Gray is an Agricultural Economist 
in the Food Consumption and Utilization Section, 
Economic Research Service. 

"refined" to different stages — some to 
molasses, some to brown sugar, and 
some to the granulated sugar we buy 
at the grocery. 

Bananas are another important food 
from abroad. In one year's time, we 
buy nearly 4 billion pounds at a cost 
of over $175 million. We take almost 
a third of the bananas shipped in 
world trade — most of which come to 
us from Central and South America. 
Even though we've been eating smaller 
quantities of fresh fruits in recent 
years, our purchases of bananas have 
changed little. Bananas are used 
in larger quantities — 18 pounds per 
person — than any other fresh fruit. 

Without spices, much of our food 
would be dull and tasteless. Although 
these products are important to us, 
their cost, by comparison, is relatively 
small — about $45 million a year. 
Black pepper leads the list. Others 
used in large quantities include mus- 
tard seed, vanilla beans, cloves, cin- 
namon, nutmeg, and ginger. In addi- 
tion, we buy poppy seeds and sage and 
the less familiar capsicum, coriander 
and cummin seeds, and tumeric. 

Our other food imports include 
fruits and livestock products. Beef im- 
ports total around 1 million pounds 
annually valued at over $400 million, 
while pork imports are typically val- 
ued near $200 million. Much of our 
beef comes from Australia, some from 
Argentina; canned hams and bacon 
are brought in from Denmark. Even 
so, imports of livestock products are 
small in total compared to purchases 
of crop products. 

There are a host of imports that 
complement what we produce, some 
that add to our selection, and still 
others that provide gourmet touches 
to our meals. There are watermelons, 
cantaloups, tomatoes, peppers, onions, 
and garlic from nearby Mexico. We 
bring in canned tomatoes and tomato 
concentrates from Italy and canned 
pineapple from far-off Taiwan. Cashew 

Picking coffee tree cherries in Latin America. It 
takes nearly 2,000 cherries to provide enough 
beans for a pound of roasted coffee. 

nuts come from India, pistachios from 
Iran, filberts from Turkey, pignolias 
from Spain, and brazil nuts from Bra- 
zil (where else!). 

Then there are such gourmet items 
as caviar from Russia, cheeses from 
the Scandinavian countries and Swit- 
zerland, bread from Syria, ludefisk 
from Norway, and turtle and elephant 
meat from other far-off lands. 

Our farmers and fishermen, and 
those from other countries around the 
world, have provided us with a de- 
pendable supply of high-quality food. 
They are the ones who start our food 
through marketing channels and on its 
way to our tables, at home and away 
from home. 

John 0. Gerald 

Food on the Go: 
The Long Haul 
From Farm to 
Shopping Bag 

Few of us realize the importance of 
the efficient transportation system we 
have in this country. It is a major 
reason why we can buy most of the 
same foods in a small town grocery as 
in a city supermarket; it is why we can 
have ripe tomatoes in February and 
fresh pork in July in any part of our 

Without distribution, production 
would be useless in our land of vast 
distances; differences in climate, ter- 
rain, soil and crop specialization; and 
concentration of people in urban areas. 

Every year, our transporters carry 
about 375 million tons of products off 
our farms. Less than 6 million tons of 
these are tobacco, wool, and cotton; 
the remainder is food and feed for 
livestock. Some of our food is exported, 
but most goes up and down and across 
our country. Sometimes the journey is 
direct, even when it's from coast to 
coast. Other times, it can be very 
roundabout — from farm to local buy- 
ers, to processing plants, and on to 
warehouses, wholesalers, and finally, 
to a supermarket or a plush restaurant 
on the upper east side of New York 
City, to cite an example. 

Specialization of products by region 


benefits us all as well as farmers. But 
it wouldn't be feasible without depend- 
able and rapid means of transporta- 
tion. The cost would be prohibitive. 
With our system today, however, in- 
tercity transportation takes only about 
6 cents of each dollar we spend for 
food. And for this we get untold variety 
along with the benefit of savings that 
come from the large scale production, 
processing, and marketing of food. 

Our efficient transportation system 
didn't just happen nor did it develop 
overnight. Until railroads crossed our 
country and later built lines to small 
cities and towns, food raised on farms 
was eaten by the farm family, with any 
that was left over being sold nearby. 
What was eaten differed greatly from 
place to place, depending on what was 
produced locally. Families in towns 
raised much of their own vegetables, 
and usually some chickens, hogs, and 
a cow or two. When the railroads 
came, more and more people moved 
to cities. Then — and only then — we 
began to develop our present food dis- 
tribution system. This was only about 
a century ago. 

With the invention of the horseless 
carriage, small trucks became avail- 
able. This made it possible for farmers 
to bring their products to the nearest 
railroad in a much shorter time than 
with old Dobbin hitched to a wagon. 
As trucks got larger and roads better, 
loads were carried longer distances. 
Then along came airplanes, and now 
the giant jets are carrying some food 

Types of transportation vary wide- 
ly — from small trucks to huge vans, 
from a single freight car to an entire 
train loaded with one product, from 
a section of a passenger plane to a 
giant superjet freighter, from a small 
barge to a seagoing merchant ship. 

At times, food may be transported 
from farm to supermarket in the same 
vehicle. More often, however, it will 
travel by more than one and, even, by 

John O. Gerald is Leader of the Transporta- 
tion Research Group, Marketing Economics Divi- 
sion, Economic Research Service. 

several different types. This means 
the cargo is likely to be transferred 
between vehicles one or more times 
on the way. Because speed and effi- 
ciency are important in getting most 
foods to their destination at a reason- 
able cost, there has been a rapid 
development of what is called "palleti- 
zation." This consists of packing bags 
or cartons on a sledlike base that can 
be lifted and moved quickly and easily 
with a forklift truck. The chief ad- 
vantage is that a product can be 
packed at the shipping point, trans- 
ferred into warehouses or between 
vehicles one or more times, and not 
be unpacked until it reaches its des- 
tination. As a result, handling costs 
are lower. 

"Containerization" is a further re- 
finement of palletization, and will 
likely grow in the future. It is the 
putting of many small bags or cartons 
into one large container such as truck 
trailers without wheels. 

Some products may require special 
equipment to control the temperature 
and humidity. This is especially true 
for fresh produce. Air must be circu- 
lated to remove heat from the fruit or 
vegetables and the small amount that 
comes through the insulated walls of 
the van, or car, or container. Humidity 
must be controlled to prevent drying 
or even the other extreme, too much 
moisture. Then, too, the temperatures 
must be controlled automatically for 
foods needing ordinary refrigeration 
and, at other times, for frozen foods. 
Foods like eggs and potatoes have to be 
heated in winter to prevent freezing. 

In recent years, the pace of change 
in our modes of transportation has 
been speeded up by better communica- 
tions — more roads, airfields, and even 
telephones and communication satel- 
lites. Roads span the country and air- 
fields seem to be everywhere. Tele- 
phones at our elbows and wire services 
let marketing men know where they 
can buy and farmers where they can 
sell their foods. This eliminates haul- 
ing many products to faraway places 
and bringing them back to the same 





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Communications also help in time 
of emergencies. For example, an egg 
shipper in North Carolina or Georgia 
may receive word from his buyer-to-be 
that a major wreck on the Pennsyl- 
vania Turnpike will delay the arrival 
of a few truckloads of eggs from Ohio 
that are needed for weekend customers 
in New York City. The shipper can 
reroute to New York his shipments of 
eggs going to Wilmington, Del. When 
the wreck on the Turnpike is cleared 
away, the eggs from Ohio can be sent 
to Wilmington. Customers in both 
cities will have eggs and will be un- 
aware of all these "behind-the-scenes" 
maneuvers. This kind of diversion-in- 
transit is common for highly perish- 
able foods. 

The railroads and truck lines have 
begun to use computers to keep track 
of freight cars, trailers, and van con- 
tainers. Shippers and carriers soon 
will have almost up-to-the-minute re- 
ports on the location of their equip- 
ment and shipments. A computer will 
receive these requests and send on the 


Railroads are testing another use of 
computers, that of matching up the 
supply of freight cars — location, type, 
and condition — with demand. Using 
their 1.8 million cars more fully for 
transport will be just like increasing 
the number. 

Recently, an experiment was tried 
in an attempt to cut down on the 
delay of goods at international bound- 
aries. To speed the products through 
customs, documentary information 
needed to clear incoming cargo was 
transmitted by communications satel- 
lite from Frankfurt in Germany to the 
Dulles International Airport near 
Washington, D.C The paperwork was 
processed well in advance of the 
plane's arrival and customs clearance 
cut to a minimum. In the years ahead, 
computer and punch card may be 
teamed up with communications satel- 
lite to eliminate most of the paperwork 
that causes delays. 

Such use of telephones, computers, 
and even satellites help cut transport 
costs and speed up the movement of 
products. They are particularly im- 
portant for foods when a quick trip 
is essential to effective marketing. 

Trains, trucks, planes, barges, and 
ships have their best function, but each 
is different in some respect. So let's 
see how they help in moving food. 

Freight cars were the earliest form 
used for long-distance overland haul- 
ing of large quantities of products 
from one city to another. These could 
be loaded in California and unloaded 
in Chicago, all the while traveling 
over several different railway systems. 
Or the cars could be transferred at 
some point in between to other rail- 
way lines and then travel to the north 
or south. 

At first, freight cars were simple 
boxcars. Today many of them are 
complex and specialized. We have 
refrigerated cars 50 to 60 feet long in 
which temperature and humidity are 
automatically controlled. Thermostats 
can be set so that fresh foods can be 
kept cool but above freezing one way 
and frozen food can be kept frozen on 
the return trip. 


Insulated cars prevent temperature 
and humidity extremes and specially 
constructed cars can handle 60,000 
pounds of bulk potatoes with a mini- 
mum of bruising. 

A growing service is the "trailer-on- 
flatcar," or "piggyback" service as it's 
usually called. Flatcars transport huge 
highway trailers for long distances. It 
takes only a few minutes to lift and 
anchor two or three trailers on the 
flatcar, and the same amount of time 
to lift them off. Giant cranes that 
straddle two rail tracks pick them up, 
convey them to the side of the tracks, 
and set them down for a tractor to 
haul away. 

Some large containers — big enough 
to be vans but without wheels — are 
also carried upon flatcars. These are 
lifted on and off and placed on flat 
trucks for the rest of their journey. 

Large covered hopper cars are a 
fairly recent development. These can 
carry up to 100 tons of grain, sugar, 
flour, or other products in bulk. They 
are loaded through top hatches. When 
the hatches are closed, there is less 
chance of contamination and loss than 
is true of open hoppers. After the cars 
reach their destination, they are un- 
loaded by opening gates which permit 
the product to flow out through grills 
into a pit where conveyors scoop it up 
and carry it to storage elevators, bins, 
or mills. 

Not to be overlooked is the "train 
with a one-track mind" or the "unit 
train." This is a complete train loaded 
with a single kind of product, and sent 
to its ultimate destination without 
stopping at intermediate freight yards. 
Though so far these have been used 
primarily for coal, their use to ship 
grain from the Plains States to milling 
and export centers has been increasing. 

Trucking is a big business today. 
Trucks can be equipped to haul a 
wide variety of products. They can 
start foods on their way at the farm 
gate and bring them to us from our 
home-delivery grocery. They have 
changed the way many foods move 
to market. For example, all cattle used 
to go by rail to die great central 

markets such as Chicago, Omaha, and 
Kansas City. Today, many packers 
have shifted to smaller plants located 
closer to livestock-producing areas and 
cattle are brought in by truck. Some 
of these trucks, called " possum-bellies, ' ' 
have three levels and can haul from 
40 to 50 live steers or 100 calves in 
a single load. Others, for hauling up 
to 100 hogs, have sprinkling equip- 
ment installed for keeping the hogs 
from becoming overheated and dying. 
A cool hog is a perky porker. 

Nearly all hogs are shipped by truck 
today and a large share of cattle and 
calves. After the animals are slaugh- 
tered at the plants, the carcasses are 
shipped to markets in specially de- 
signed refrigerated trucks or railcars. 

Milk is delivered to large cities in 
big bulk milk trucks. This is quite a 
change from earlier days when milk 
was taken to the nearest milk depot 
in metal cans. These cans had to be 
stored, sterilized, filled, and loaded on 
trucks by farmers. At the receiving 
plants, the same operation had to be 
done in reverse. 

Now farmers have lines running 
from milking machines to a refriger- 
ated tank. Each day or two, a large 
tank truck comes by, pumps the milk 
out of the farmer's tank, and takes it 
to the receiving plant. There it is 
pumped again into various containers 
for further processing. On its journey 
from cow to final container, it hasn't 
been lifted once manually or touched 
by human hands. 

This shows only what happens be- 
tween the dairy farm and its market — 
the processing plant. Some milk may 
be sent in bulk a thousand miles or 
more, sometimes as far as from Wis- 
consin to Georgia or Alaska. 

The newest method being used for 
transporting food is the cargo plane. 
The volume of food being shipped by 
air is still less than 1 percent of the 
total. Recently, around 25 million 
pounds per year of fruits and vege- 
tables, mosdy strawberries, were flown 
from California to large cities — some 
as distant as Frankfurt, Germany. 
Other fruits and vegetables that were 

flown to market included cherries, 
apricots, figs, asparagus, lettuce, nec- 
tarines, and more recently, carrots, 
celery, and oranges. 

Occasionally, frozen foods and meat, 
poultry, eggs, and seafood have also 
been sent by air. 

Though the cost of shipping food by 
air is still high, there are some advan- 
tages to sending perishables this way. 
The shorter travel time cuts down on 
spoilage, less expensive packaging is 
required, and shipping damage is apt 
to be less. Airlines are attempting to 
reduce air shipment costs. 

Barges and ships continue to trans- 
port large quantities of food — particu- 
larly grains and sugar — on our inland 
waterways and across the seas. These 
carriers also can make use of containers 
to speed food along. 

New procedures that are being tried 
by shipping companies include the so- 
called LASH (lighter aboard ship) ves- 
sels. These are large ships which can 
carry 30 or more barges, each being 
around 100 feet long and holding 
about 850 long tons of cargo. This 
makes it possible for barges to be 
loaded at river or other shallow water 
ports, towed out to deep water ports 
and put aboard seagoing ships. When 
the ship reaches a foreign port, these 
same barges are unloaded and then 
towed again to shallow water ports. 
This method tends to reduce the cost 
of transporting food. 

These are the carriers of our food — 
the vehicles and workers that keep 
supplies moving. They are a necessary 
part of our modern food system that 
keeps us supplied with the gigantic 
abundance of food that we seem to 
take for granted. Probably we'd real- 
ize rather quickly, and quite painfully, 
what all this means to those of us who 
live in cities if, all of a sudden, these 
vehicles stopped running. Just try, 
for a minute, to imagine what you 
would do if, without any warning, all 
food stores and public eating places 
were to close for a week or even longer 
because all the trains, planes, trucks, 
barges, and ships had come to a 
complete standstill. 


Kermit Bird 

Food Processors 
and Packagers 
Put a New Cook 
In Your Kitchen 

On a Thursday night, in a super- 
market, in the town that could be 
yours, the wonderwork of our modern 
food processing system unfolded and 
came true. The shopping and the sales 
transactions which took place in that 
store are a culmination of modern 
man's endeavor to feed himself. Much 
of the miracle is a result of hard work, 
man's ingenuity, and the application 
of scientific techniques to food process- 
ing. Perhaps observing a young couple 
in a supermarket will provide us with 
a greater understanding and appreci- 
ation of our big U.S. food processing 

Our young couple, who had been 
pushing their grocery cart through the 
aisles of the supermarket, approached 
the checkout stand. The wife made a 
last-minute check of her shopping list 
while her husband stacked the revolv- 
ing counter with their weekly pur- 
chases — a large can of tomato juice, a 
pliofilm-wrapped sirloin steak, a small 
frozen turkey, a box of instant mashed 
potatoes, and some fresh carrots. Be- 
side these he placed a package of 
frozen broccoli-in-a-bag with a cheese 
sauce, assorted frozen dinners, a loaf 
of sliced white bread, a box filled with 


envelopes of instant oatmeal flavored 
with apple and cinnamon, a half gal- 
lon carton of low-fat milk, and a quart 
of sherbet. 

As more room on the counter be- 
came available, he unloaded the rest 
of the groceries — a large jar of instant 
coffee, a small jar of ripe olives, 
barbecue-flavored corn chips, assorted 
other groceries, and some miscellane- 
ous nonfood items. 

The couple ended this phase of their 
grocery shopping, and as the items 
were being added up on the cash 
register, their thoughts appeared to 
dwell solely on how the foods were to 
be used and the prices of the various 
items. Mentally, the housewife planned 
her next week's meals and hoped that 
nothing had been overlooked; her 
husband considered whether he had 
enough cash to pay for the mounting 
pile. At the moment, both seemed 
unaware of the "what" they were 
buying; of what they were really get- 
ting as they bought their groceries. 
Was it just the stack of food now being 
arranged in large brown bags, or was 
there more to this week's supply of 
groceries than meets the eye? 

Actually, with each food item, they 
had bought some of each of the fol- 
lowing ingredients: 

-the food. 

-preparation of the food. 

-processing: canning, freezing, dry- 
ing, pickling. 

-seasonings, preservatives, and fla- 

-equipment used in preparation and 

-maintenance of the equipment. 

-care needed to conform with health 
and sanitation standards. 

-research to develop and perfect the 

-packaging materials, with their 
associated labor and equipment. 

-transportation, storage,- and food 

Kermit Bird is an Agricultural Economist in the 
Marketing Economics Division of the Economic 
Research Service. 

Many things had been done to each 
food since it left the farm. Even the 
fresh carrots had been topped, washed, 
packaged, and kept cool. Other foods 
had undergone much more processing. 
Some, like the frozen broccoli, were 
prepared in a sauce and ready to cook. 
The olives had gone through long 
pickling stages. The jar of freeze-dried 
coffee, so casually selected from the 
shelf, had gone through many involved 
steps — roasting, brewing, evaporating, 
dehydrating, and packaging. 

Our young couple may not realize 
the multitude of food choices they 
have. Main courses previously availa- 
ble only in restaurants can now be 
everyday items. Most any new bride 
can serve a variety of foods her mother 
never dared attempt! The saying was 
never truer than now that, "If you can 
read and follow directions, you can be 
a wonderful cook." How did this come 
about? What miracle has made it pos- 
sible for this young couple to buy so 
much variety in their neighborhood 
store? How has food processing in- 
fluenced our food marketing system? 

Food processing, or food "manu- 
facturing," is a multi-billion-dollar 
industry. Even more impressive than 
size is its complexity. Food processing 
includes pasteurizing, homogenizing, 
standardizing, and bottling of fresh 
milk. Freezing, canning, drying, pick- 
ling, curing, and salting are commonly 
used techniques. Blending, seasoning, 
and preserving are part of what takes 
place as are grading, inspection, and 
labeling. Packaging is another im- 
portant function. 

In short, food processing is all the 
things that make our foods easier and 
safer to use. 

Food processing generally involves 
altering the composition or character 
of a food in some way. Processing 
usually makes the raw products more 
marketable by various kinds of treat- 
ment. But even before food can be 
processed, there is equipment to be 
thought of, designed, built, and in- 
stalled. Afterward, this machinery has 
to be kept immaculately clean. 
The processing industry uses the 

labor and talents of thousands upon 
thousands of people with a wide range 
of capabilities. Processed products are 
advertised and promoted so people 
like our young shoppers know they 
exist. To show how this system works, 
let's follow the procedures used in 
making a familiar, everyday product — 
the bread we eat. 

Would your grandmother have 
believed it, when she was a girl, if she 
had been told that someday a series 
of coordinated machines would bake 
13,000 loaves of bread per hour? To 
produce four loaves of bread, grandma 
had to sift the flour by hand, mix the 
ingredients, raise, punch down and 
knead, shape into loaves, let raise 
again, and then bake them about an 
hour. The whole process would take 
5 to 6 hours, or about 1% to 1 % hours 
a loaf. The machines we will talk 
about bake more bread in an hour 
than she baked in her whole life. 

The aroma of fresh-baked bread 
may make one nostalgic, but like 
other memories of the past, we forget 
the drudgery and the failures. In the 
case of homemade bread, we don't 
recall the coarse loaves full of holes, 
or those with soggy centers. Burned 
crusts are forgotten. True, we may 
no longer be able to enjoy the aroma 
of home-baked bread, but neither do 
we have to spend the better part of 
one or two days each week baking — 
unless, of course, we want to. 

In most large bakeries today, bread 
is made automatically from start to 
finish. Imagine, for example, a bakery 
as large as two football fields. Here 
flour and the other baking ingredients 
go in one end of a series of integrated 
machines, disappear from view, and 
emerge at the other end as fully baked 
bread ready for cooling, wrapping, 
and delivery. These items of equip- 
ment and their associated techniques 
are called the "continuous-mix" proc- 
ess. "Continuous" means that the 
ingredients, dough, and loaves flow 
in a stream rather than in batches, 
as was the case in previous bread- 
making systems. Let's see how the idea 


Train crews shuttle freight cars 
loaded with flour into the receiving 
section of the building where the flour 
is siphoned off into high storage silos. 
Upon a signal from one computer, 
quantities of flour move to interior 
silos. Computer No. 2 directs flour 
to mixers that "shimmy" when told 
to do so. 

Even before the flour has started to 
shimmy, a "brew" is prepared to en- 
courage the dough to raise. Brew con- 
sists of a ferment yeast, liquid lard, 
liquid sugar, and a liquid softener to 
help keep bread fresh after baking. 
The newly made brew goes to a spe- 
cial "proofing" room to raise. After 
being drawn out of the tanks, other 
machines add weighed quantities of 
flour. Then special machines whirl this 
doughy mixture around and around 
until it reaches a desired consistency. 
Enormous vessels convey it to molding 

Molding machines whirl the exact 
quantity of dough needed for each 
loaf and then drop each portion down 
a conveyor into another set of machin- 
ery. This equipment flattens the ball 
of dough, shapes it into a loaf, and 
drops it into a pan. After a controlled 
period of time, conveyors carry many 
of these pans of dough to gigantic 
ovens. Upon a predetermined signal, 
thousands of loaves of bread are 
baked. Conveyors take the bread to 
coolers, to bread slicers, and then to 
automatic wrappers and baggers. 

But this isn't all. Wrapped bread 
travels by conveyor belts to the load- 
ing area where trucks stand in line 
waiting to take the newly baked bread 
to grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, 
and many other away-from-home eat- 
ing places. 

This sounds easy — as if bakers should 
or could have been making bread this 
way for ages. Not so! Developing a 
new system hasn't been that simple. 
The complicated equipment had to be 

Bread loaves ride conveyor In a supermarket 
chain bakery. 

designed, tested, and built. The freight 
cars which brought the flour were in- 
vented and manufactured just for this 
purpose. The tubes that unloaded the 
cars were tailored for siphoning the 
flour. The storage silos that hold the 
flour were engineered to be the right 
size and right shape. Each computer is 
exacdy the right computer for the 
job to be done. The conveyor belts, 
pneumatic tubes, valves, elevators, 
molders, mixers, scales, softeners, flat- 
teners, churners, ovens, wrappers, and 
baggers were all brought into existence 
with a specific job in mind. The vats, 
brewing rooms, and proofing rooms 
have to be kept at the right tempera- 
ture and humidity. And each item 
of equipment has to be easy to clean. 

But even before the equipment was 
developed, a special "formula" for 
bread had to be considered. Research 
laboratories scattered throughout the 
country devoted considerable effort to 
perfecting the required techniques. 
Years of intense effort yielded bits 
of data, so the total information could 
be used in this automated breadmak- 
ing process. 

Even the type of wheat used in the 
breadmaking had to be determined, 
for only certain kinds provide flour 
with the precise mixing tolerance and 
stability suitable for these new con- 
tinuous-mix bakeries. So, long before 
wheat becomes flour, laboratory tech- 
nicians submit the flour to a series of 
intensive quality evaluations to deter- 
mine its breadmaking characteristics. 
Millers have found they can literally 
tear a kernel of wheat apart and then 
reassemble the grain in a form more 
adaptable to the particular needs. Air- 
classification milling, based upon this 
principle, separates out the protein 
and glutens, and a miller can then 
put them back in the precise propor- 
tions he desires. Here are three tests 
commonly used in evaluating wheat: 

• Wheat protein content. This test may 
be done by a dyebinding process. 

• Sedimentation value. This tests the 
strength of a wheat. Strength is gen- 
erally related to the gluten content. 

• A farinograph predicts the quality 
and strength of gluten flour. Strong 
gluten indicates a good bread-baking 

Results of these tests may be out- 
lined on charts, and a baker can ex- 
amine them and tailor his bread to bis 
exact specifications. 

Other ingredients that are a part of 
the bread "formula" also had to be 
tested. Wrappers had to be developed 
that could be used on the high-speed 
wrapping machines. Wrappers keep 
the bread fresh and protect it during 
handling and in the household of the 
young couple. 

We have described some of the 
many and complex arrangements in- 
volved in developing the new con- 
tinuous way to produce white bread. 
But that is just one item. The same 
bakery may handle four or five other 
kinds of bread, each with a unique 
method of processing. Then, of course, 
there are rolls, buns, pies, cakes, and 
tarts that are equally complex in their 
manufacture. But none of these are as 
completely automated as white bread 
because their volumes are smaller. 

All this background and develop- 
mental work called for considerable 
applied research and, of course, ex- 
pense. The aim of all this is that we 
have our needs met in an efficient way. 
We must like the product and the price 
well enough to come back for more, 
and to be favorably disposed toward 
any other products made by the same 
company. This is what makes the sys- 
tem work, why engineers design the 
high-speed machines, why bankers are 
willing to risk investment funds for a 
costly automated system, and why the 
bakery owners go to all the bother and 
expense. By satisfying their customers, 
bakers can sell more loaves of bread, 
make more money, and retain or in- 
crease their share of the bread market. 

For supplying us with our daily 
bread, bakers receive about 80 percent 
of the price we pay for our loaf of 
white bread. The grocer keeps the 
other 20 percent to pay his store ex- 
penses. Bakers pay out about half the 


money they receive from the retailer 
for employees' wages, fringe benefits, 
and social security payments. Ingredi- 
ents take the next biggest slice — almost 
a third of the money bakers receive 
from the storekeeper. The rest goes 
for the package, delivery, equipment, 
and sundry items. Profits, of course, 
are important for they go to the owner 
of the business. In recent years bakers' 
profits have averaged about 2 percent 
of sales. 

We have used baking as an example, 
but baking is only one part of our 
immense processing industry. Other 
examples could show equally well the 
complexity, size, and character of food 

Within the past two decades, food 
processing has adapted to different 
demands of the food market. Previ- 
ously, processing was oriented toward 
procuring and preserving. Now food 
processing is more market oriented, 
with its new emphasis on food prepara- 
tion, packaging, and convenience. 

Even though procuring raw products 
and preserving are just as important 
functions as ever, greater emphasis is 
being placed on what the housewife 
wants rather than on what the farmer 
has to sell. This may be one reason for 
the current emphasis on ready-to-eat 
foods, for a processor tries to anticipate 
our wants and needs as consumers. He 
then develops, manufactures, pack- 
ages, promotes, and distributes foods 
to meet our changing demands or 
desires. In taking this new tack, we 
find that the food processing industry 
acquired some of the tasks that formerly 
were thought of as farm duties. It's 
obvious, too, the processors have taken 
on many of the housewives' jobs, and 
processors now assume a multitude of 
the chores formerly in home kitchens. 

Many factors appear to have brought 
about these modifications in our food 
economy. We don't always know which 
are causes and which are results of 
changes, for they seem to be inter- 
twined. But the questions of how much 
processing, what types, where, by 
whom, and at what cost are the essence 
of the "economics" of the food process- 


ing industry. Each bit of processing 
must be coordinated with the rest, each 
processor must find the raw products 
he needs, and each food must get to 
where the customer can buy it. 

Not only have consumer desires been 
changing, and increasingly reflected 
back to food processors, but techno- 
logical advances have also played an 
important role in those modifications 
that have taken place. For example, 
newer type canning facilities are more 
specialized than formerly and require 
larger volumes to justify a much greater 
investment. The volumes needed to 
keep them busy may involve enlarging 
the whole food processing plant. The 
size of plants, where they are located, 
the kind of processing done, and the 
type of business which is evolving are 
all affected. 

Transportation and communication 
developments have encouraged other 
changes. They have given processing 
firms a greater choice in the size of 
plants to be operated and where plants 
may be located. Trucks, trains, and 
planes move rapidly and continuously 
to get supplies from, and finished 
products to, almost any section of the 

Early in this century, our meat- 
packing industry centered in Chicago, 
St. Louis, and Omaha. There was a 
reason. The packers built large-volume 
slaughter and packing plants so the 
plants could specialize and thus achieve 
lower packing costs. Slaughter and 
packing specialization, at that time, 
depended on large-volume operations. 

Since the close of World War II, 
slaughtering has moved to country lo- 
cations and become decentralized. Ani- 
mals now can be slaughtered within 
hours of their shipping time. But while 
the slaughtering of meat animals has 
moved closer to the farm, range, or 
feedlot, other processing has tended to 
become more specialized and central- 
ized. Weiners, bacon, sausages, and 
hams now may be processed in plants 
that specialize in these items. Imagine, 
if you will, a whole plant devoted to 
making sausage-type products — whole 
rooms filled with automatic wiener 

fillers. In this instance, the raw mate- 
rials used are frozen meat, spices, dry 
skim milk, casings, and cartons. 

Some meat processing plants do 
nothing but "quick-freezing" of steaks, 
chops, and roasts. No one knows the 
future of frozen meats, for at present 
there seems to be some consumer resist- 
ance to these. Yet, as if in contradic- 
tion, we buy frozen meats in prepared 
dinners, and even consider ourselves 
thrifty when we purchase fresh meat to 
freeze at home. We buy frozen turkey, 
although we prefer our broilers fresh. 
In future years, we may buy frozen 
cuts of meat and specialties like shish- 
kabob as readily as we now do frozen 

Changes at other levels of marketing 
may affect who does the food proc- 
essing, where the preservation is done, 
and how. Instead of sending whole 
meat carcasses to each grocery store, 
as was formerly the custom, some of 
the retail stores now cut and package 
steaks, chops, and roasts at their cen- 
tral warehouses. This cutting tech- 
nique results in more efficient use of 
labor and less product waste. It is now 
technically possible for the complete 
cutting operation to be done back still 
another step — at the slaughter-packing 
plant. Research will show whether 
cutting at a packing plant is economi- 
cally feasible. All this indicates that 
food processing is in a state of flux. 

Meanwhile, back in the packing 
plant, food researchers have designed 
a new instrument to predetermine how 
tender the meat will be after having 
been cooked at home. A technician, 
using this device, can easily determine 
the best use of a beef carcass, and cus- 
tomers will know when they buy a 
steak, roast, or even stew meat, what 
the maximum tenderness will be "after 

For most food processing industries, 
the prevailing trend is toward more 
centralization. The important factor 
in bringing this about is what econo- 
mists call the economies of scale. This 
means, simply, that a bigger plant — by 
having a large volume — can find ways 
of lowering costs per unit. 

Today, a large food processor has 
some distinct advantages over the 
small one. He can buy in larger quan- 
tities and may pay slightly lower raw 
material and supply prices. More im- 
portant, he can afford some services 
that a small processor has to do with- 
out. He is large enough to have his 
own name brand, and in this country 
food processors find a nationally ad- 
vertised brand to be a market advan- 
tage. Our TV networks, magazines, 
and even some U.S. newspapers have 
cross-country coverage. National pro- 
motion of food in these media is 
expensive per unit of sale unless costs 
can be spread over many sales. 

Although a few processors have done 
so, a small food processor finds it ex- 
tremely difficult to support a nation- 
wide promotion campaign. 

Another spur toward larger sized 
plants and companies is the advantage 
that results from team research. One 
member may work on texture, another 
on flavor, others on color, label, pack- 
age design, closure, and so on. A 
product development man in a small 
research laboratory cannot specialize 
enough to achieve great success in any 
one field, and this limits his ability to 
develop new products. 

The same reasoning applies to mar- 
ket testing. This is an expensive pro- 
cedure, and small firms do it with 
difficulty. Generally, they need to hire 
a specialized company to do this for 
them. Large food processors, particu- 
larly those with a continuing flow of 
new products, have their own market 
testing staff and do market testing 
with comparative ease. 

Adaptation of old and new tech- 
nologies has spurred food processing 
firms to enlarge and centralize their 
operations. Fully automated plants can 
produce large quantities of food at 
lower cost in one place than when 
scattered around the country. Break- 
fast cereals are economically produced 
in large automated plants and the 
finished products sent to all parts of 
the Nation. 

Other changes have been taking 
place in food processing, too. Some 



On opposite page, oranges arrive by truck at Florida plant that makes frozen orange juice. Above, 
oranges in washer at a processing plant. 

firms have expanded "vertically" by 
merging with their suppliers or buying 
them out. If a processor can't get his 
needed supplies or services at a reason- 
able price or one that meets his par- 
ticular requirements, he then is under 
pressure to produce them for himself. 
Some fruit canners, to lower costs or 
to get the kind of cans they want, have 
begun manufacturing cans. Or a food 
processor may buy most of his bottles 
from a container supplier and still 
operate a botde manufacturing plant 
as a safeguard against adverse labor 
problems or, perhaps, as a check on 
botde prices. 

Other processors have expanded 
"horizontally" by merging with other 
companies engaged in the same kind 
of business or making the same prod- 
uct. Some nationwide bakery organi- 
zations have used this expansion route 
by merging with local and regional 
companies. A current consideration 
is that the Federal regulatory agencies 
frown on mergers which lessen compe- 
tition within an industry. 

A variation of horizontal expansion 
is diversification through which a food 
processor acquires companies making 
different but related food products. 
Some old-line food processors have 
moved into the more rapidly growing 
sectors of the food processing industry 
by buying firms which make frozen 
and prepared foods, convenience items, 
snacks, and packaged products. 

In "conglomerate" mergers, a firm 
combines with other companies having 
an entirely different kind of product. 
Food processors are in the toy business. 
Electronic, petroleum, and machinery 
companies have gone into food manu- 
facturing. Tobacco firms have become 
food processors. Others have started 
making soaps, fertilizer, and leather 
goods. This type of expansion has been 
stimulated pardy by the need for large 
investments in food processing plant 
facilities and supplies. Quite often the 
nonfood companies have the invest- 
ment, research facilities, and promo- 
tional know-how to make a success of 
food processing. 


In food processing, as in all other 
industries today, business management 
has become more complex, technical, 
and scientific. In the past, "manage- 
ment" was quite frequently the owner. 
And generally, the owner had a few 
"advisors" to help him make decisions. 
Answers, based on common sense and 
practical experience, were fairly sim- 
ple. A new business venture of today 
requires enterprise, skill, and expertise 
to launch and manage it. 

In a modern food processing estab- 
lishment, a vast array of specialists 
and experts contributes to operation 
and management of the firm. Engi- 
neers, chemists, accountants, food 
technologists, purchasing agents, law- 
yers, advertising men, data processors 
combine their efforts toward more 
research. Working together, they look 
forward to successful new products and 
more sales. 

As firms become larger, more com- 
plex, and geared to a nationwide 
market, innovations are the prime 
movers. Finding new products, new 
applications for existing foods, and 
using both to increase the quantity and 
variety produced — these have become 
ever-present goals. 

Research, especially that directed 
toward developing new products or 
new processes, goes on continuously 
and takes many forms. Some research 
is just to improve a package; some to 
develop a new combination of foods. 
Still other research seeks to find some- 
thing completely new to fill a specific 
need or develop a new process and 
find a way to use it. 

Freezing of food, quite likely the 
greatest change in food processing 
since World War II, seemingly could 
have developed earlier, but several 
other changes had to occur at the 
same time. The commercial freezing 
of food, developed in the 1920's, went 
through various stages before costs 
were low enough and products reliable 
enough for mass production and dis- 
tribution. Since then, newer freezing 
techniques and different types of 
refrigeration machinery have come on 
the food scene. Entirely new kinds of 


freezing media have been tested and 
put in general use. The IQF (individ- 
ually quick frozen) method of freezing 
was one of these, and with some 
foods — like peas, french fried potatoes, 
and carrots — IQF freezing adds con- 
venience for the housewife. 

Other developments also had to 
occur at the same time. There was a 
need for new types of raw products 
suitable for freezing. Packaging ma- 
terials had to be especially designed 
to protect and to preserve product 
quality. Ways to transport and store 
the food had to be adapted to the new 
processing situation. All these have 
affected the housewife, her home 
storage, her menus, her family's diets, 
and her general satisfaction with 
today's offerings. A simple change in 
the process of freezing snap beans has 
had far-reaching effects that stretch 
across the country to almost every 
town, every grocery store, and most 
homes in the Nation. 

New ingredients, or old ones applied 
in new ways, have become increasingly 
important in today's food processing 
system. An example is the use of old- 
fashioned whey in modern prepared 
foods. Spray-drying removes most of 
liquid whey's moisture in seconds. A 
second drying process gives it solu- 
bility, storage, and handling proper- 
ties that allow it to become a valuable 
ingredient in a variety of foods. 

Spray-dried whey improves color, 
bloom, and texture of bakery products 
and gives added flavor to bread 
mixes. "Whey- breaded" shrimp taste 
"shrimpier." Frozen pot pies and 
fruit pies do less "weeping" and the 
whey helps to eliminate the watery 
effect often found on the bottom of 
pies. Sherbets and ice creams have a 
smoother appearance. Cheese sauces 
do less separating, and dried whey 
helps to maintain shelf life of many 
foods. One evidence of acceptance is 
that the use of this byproduct has 
increased 2% times in the past decade. 
Another and still different use of a 
familiar product is that of butter 
inserted in self-basting turkeys. One 
machine injects butter deep into the 

breast and thighs of freshly slaughtered 
turkeys. Other machines quickly freeze 
the birds and pack them in special- 
type plastic bags. From there they are 
stored in a freezer. Weeks later, when 
needed, the frozen turkeys arrive in 
our grocery stores. The advantage of 
all this extra process is that, while 
it's roasting, the turkey "bastes" itself 
by oozing the butter from deep inside 
to the outer surface. 

Inspection of many foods is required 
by State or Federal law. Inspection of 
others is at a food processor's option, 
and the voluntary inspection programs 
may operate under governmental or 
industry standards. 

While most food inspection work has 
been done in the past by the U.S. 
Department of Health, Education, 
and Welfare and the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, many States will be 
doing more of this work in the future. 
Two recent laws, for example, provide 
a backdrop for more State activity in 
the fields of meat and poultry inspec- 
tion. The Wholesome Meat Act of 
1967 and the Wholesome Poultry 
Products Act of 1968 provide for fully 
cooperative Federal-State inspection 

Regulations governing food inspec- 
tion programs vary to some extent 
from one product, or type of product, 
to another. Some regulations require 
inspection of materials coming into 
processing plants. Other rules deal 
only with the sanitation of processing 
plants. Still other inspections deal with 
the finished product to ascertain that 
minimum standards have been met. 
Food labels, too, come under scrutiny. 
Ham processed under Federal meat 
inspection, for example, must be 
labeled as "Ham, water added," if it 
contains up to 10 percent added mois- 
ture, and as "Imitation Ham" if the 
added water goes above this amount. 
Since Federal meat inspection stand- 
ards limit the amount of moisture in 
cooked sausages, a laboratory test for 
this factor has become standard pro- 
cedure. The amount of cereal or any 
other "extenders" in sausages is also 
analyzed, as is the protein content. 

So far, we have looked at the present 
status of food processing. How about 
the future? 

A much higher percentage of our 
meat, poultry, dairy, and fisheries 
products will be processed. Fresh red 
meats, as we know them, may become 
the high-priced, low-volume food items 
of the future. Most poultry meat of 
tomorrow will be frozen or processed 
by other methods. Fresh broilers may 
almost disappear. 

The next decade will open increased 
possibilities for frozen snacks. Host- 
esses of tomorrow's superjets, traveling 
at much faster speeds than now, will 
not have time to provide a hot meal 
for their 250 to 400 passengers. A 
snack may have to do for some flights. 
These new planes with their multiple 
galleys and large food holding and 
thawing equipment will be able to 
handle a variety of frozen dishes. 
Snacks may include open-faced sand- 
wiches, cold chicken, turkey, roast 
beef, and hors d'oeuvres — all proc- 
essed. For desserts, there may be 
pudding, fruit salads and mixed fruit, 
rolls, pies, tarts, and puff pastry. 
Coffee may be the only hot item. 

Another change to watch is that 
food processors will turn their atten- 
tion more and more toward foods used 
in the away-from-home eating places. 
Some of these products will find their 
way into our supermarkets as well. 
The children of the young couple that 
we left at the checkout counter will be 
buying many foods in new forms, pre- 
pared by new processes, and sold in 
new kinds of packages. 

Food Packaging 

A grocery store presents a virtual 
kaleidoscope of color and design, with 
each packaged food item upon the 
shelves contributing to the overall 
mosaic. Every food package we see 
comes as the result of careful research 
to find out what is likely to appeal to 
us plus what will best protect the 
product and retain quality. 

Back in the days of the local gro- 
cery, crackers, cranberries, and pickles 


were displayed in barrels. Aisles were 
lined with big bags of flour, potatoes, 
sugar, dry beans, oatmeal, and pea- 
nuts. Salted fish and oranges came in 
wooden boxes. Some foods were 
canned and pickled, but frozen foods 
were unknown. Consumer packages, as 
we know them, were unusual and clerks 
packaged most items in bags at the 
time of sale. These brown bags were 
meant just to carry the food and to 
hold up until the shopper got home. 
Food handling problems within the 
store were limited to such things as 
keeping the crackers dry 1 and the flies 
away from the molasses. Packaging 
was a problem then, as it is now; but 
because of the new emphasis on con- 
venience, our packaging ideas today 
take different forms. 

What is there about our present 
food marketing system that encourages 
such wide usage of packages? First, 
our food itself has changed. Advances 
in technology have made many new 
kinds of processed food and food com- 
binations possible. Convenience foods 
need the right type of package to be 
truly convenient. Many processing 
changes call for package changes, and 
finding the right package for each food 
is an essential part of our modern 
food processing and marketing system. 
When a new food is put on the market, 
a "right" package can help sell the 
product; a poor package can hinder 
sales and may even prevent a new food 
from getting nationwide acceptance. 
Another basic reason for having a 
package is to assemble items. A jar 
of pickled onions becomes a unit of 
trade. A pound box of peanut brittle, 
a quart of milk, a 1 -ounce bottle of 
dried chives, and a 10-ounce box of 
biscuit mix are other examples. Putting 
similar things together, or combining 
ingredients in handy sizes, allows for 
easier purchases and faster handling. 
A special function of some packages 
is to protect the contents from mechan- 
ical damage. Most U.S. foods travel 
hundreds or even thousands of miles 
before coming to our supermarkets. 
They are packaged to keep them safe 
for the long trips. An egg carton keeps 


fragile shells from cracking. Special 
wrappings, fillers, and layers keep 
delicate fruits from bruising each 
other. Other packages provide stack- 
ing strength in handling, transit, and 

If a food has special consumer-use 
characteristics, a processor may have 
to cope with intricate packaging prob- 
lems. Boilable-pouch foods need a 
pliable package which can be both 
frozen and boiled. This film has to 
keep the product dry inside and can- 
not react with the food. In common 
use for frozen vegetables for some time, 
this package now is used for cured 
meats and seafoods as well. 

The foods sold in pressurized cans, 
like whipped cream, cake icings, and 
cheese spreads, were not ready to be 
marketed until market researchers de- 
vised a special nozzle for the can. Also, 
a propellant gas had to be discovered 
that would not unite with the food and 
would be harmless if eaten. These 
intricate problems of packaging were 
solved, and the concept has become a 
reality on the market. 

A package needs to be convenient. 
The shopper may buy a food once, but 
no matter how well she likes the con- 
tents, she may not buy it again unless 
the package is easy to open up, easily 
reclosed, easy to store, and convenient 
to handle. There are many jokes about 
the plastic bag you tear open with 
your teeth, the key opener package 
which swallows the key, and the box 
that explodes or spills the contents. 

But most of all, a food package must 
be a "silent salesman." A successful 
package must catch the shopper's eye, 
identify what the product is, and give 
her all the basic information she needs 
about the food inside. Some label in- 
formation, like weight and contents, is 
required by law. 

A food processor selects the most 
economical packaging materials and 
container that will meet his customer's 
product needs. He wants packages that 
do not adversely affect his labor costs 
or packaging equipment investment. 
When he has developed a package that 
will do the best job of protecting his 

product, then he must determine if it 
is economical to purchase, store, fill, 
stock, handle, and ship. He also wants 
a package design which requires an 
appropriate amount of shelf space; 
will attract people to buy it; prevent 
pilfering; and provide convenience to 
the consumer when used. A processor 
who has developed a package which 
meets all these requirements, and has 
also developed something good inside, 
may have a successful product. 

Aluminum makes a unique food 
package. Resistant to greases and oils, 
it is odorless, tasteless, nontoxic, and 
does not shrink, swell, or soften. Nor 
does aluminum unite with the food or 
change the color. It is a good conductor 
of heat, but does not burn and won't 
crack in the freezer. 

Aluminum is adaptable for the 
formed dishes used for frozen plate din- 
ners since it can be pressed to many 
shapes. Aluminum lids for these same 
dinner containers seal tighdy, but peel 
away easily. Aluminum pouches and 
bags are suitable for use with instant 
mashed potatoes since, unlike most 
films, they effectively keep out mois- 
ture, odors, and vapors. Aluminum 
cans, now coming on the market in 
larger volumes, are a competitor for 
the traditional tinned can. Manufac- 
turers of tin cans counter by develop- 
ing new lightweight steel cans. 

The tin can we are all familiar with 
has been going through other evolu- 
tionary changes. Presendy, food and 
beverages utilize 85 percent of the tin- 
plated steel cans turned out by U.S. 
suppliers. To maintain their share of 
the market, the can industry concen- 
trates on research to lower costs while 
at the same time changing the can to 
improve performance and attractive- 
ness. One way to reduce costs is to 
make cans from thinner sheets, or per- 
haps by using a tin-free steel can. 
Aluminum may also be deposited on 
the steel surface of the can. Chrome- 
plated steel is another possibility. Even 
the typical cylindrical shape may be 
altered in the years ahead. One manu- 
facturer is experimenting with new 
contoured cans whose strong welded 

side seams will make many new styles 

Glass containers, long standbys in 
food processing, have many innova- 
tions to make them even more useful 
and durable in coming years. Here is 
an example: Surface scratches have 
been one cause of glass breakage. A 
recendy developed surface treatment 
now makes glass containers virtually 
scratch resistant. Other special im- 
provements in glass designs permit sub- 
stantial weight reduction. Still another 
innovation: Glass decoration can be 
done at high speeds and low cost so, 
after use, these containers might serve 
other purposes. 

Films like polyethylene or poly- 
propylene and many others make 
excellent packing materials. The boil- 
able bag is one adaptation. A tempera- 
ture-resistant, disposable, film package 
for bread dough serves a secondary 
purpose as the baking pan. Other 
newer adaptations are the twist-tie 
bags for bakery foods and cured and 
processed meats. 

Edible pouches now are technically 
feasible for instant coffee, tea, and 
soup mixes. In the last example, the 
pouch could serve as a thickening 
agent for the soup ! 

Individual portions of many foods — 
from potato chips to puddings — are 
ideal for the lunchbox or the person 
who lives alone. "Stack pack" crackers 
and cookies keep a product fresh after 
opening. "Pilfer-proof" closures help 
grocers maintain fresh packages and 
minimize losses. Vacuum-sealed food 
jars are one example — a gentie twist of 
the lid tells the shopper whether the 
vacuum is still there or if the jar has 
been opened. Reusable containers — 
like those tubs used for margarine, 
salad, and ice cream — make excellent 
refrigerator storage dishes. Molded 
handles — like those now used on gal- 
lon milk jugs — make these containers 
easier to handle and store. 

The variety of new food containers 
streams on endlessly. In future years, 
we anticipate that these will provide 
even more convenience, better appear- 
ance, easier handling, and lower costs. 


Harry H. Harp 
William S. Hoofnagle 

of New Foods 
Give You a 
Wide Choice 

When Abraham Lincoln clerked in a 
country store, his customers had 
around 900 food items to choose from. 
Until as recently as 1940, a family 
shopper had only about a thousand 
food items from which to make selec- 
tions. Contrast this with the average 
supermarket today with 8,000 or more 
items — many of which were not avail- 
able 10 years ago. 

So many new forms of food prod- 
ucts have been produced during the 
past few years that supermarkets have 
to limit the number they can carry. 
If a grocer tried to stock all that have 
been developed, his store would prob- 
ably take up a whole shopping center. 
Though supermarkets must limit to 
some extent the number of items they 
stock, we still have an amazing array 
of choices. It's often fun just to wander 
about and look for new items which 
seem to appear almost daily. 

Today we can find cases and cases 
of frozen foods, rows upon rows of 
bakery mixes and icings, sauces and 
sauce mixes, beverages and beverage 
mixes. There is virtually an endless 
number of easy-to-cook foods which 
were not in our grocery stores just 


5 years ago. And, though it seems that 
every possible food, for every possible 
use, has been developed, many more 
are "in the works." 

In a few years, our weekly market 
order may be made up almost entirely 
of the so-called "convenience" foods 
with their built-in maid or chef serv- 
ices. Many of these will be for dishes 
we have prepared at home, yet they 
may contain ingredients we won't rec- 
ognize. Even now, names appear in 
lists of ingredients on packages that 
seem strange to many of us. New items 
today are not only new or different 
combinations of foods but some are 
actually "synthesized" to represent the 
"natural" foods. Many contain emul- 
sifiers, stabilizers, and preservatives of 
various kinds to provide desired tex- 
tures and flavors, and to insure better 
keeping qualities. 

Some of our grandmothers who 
had cleaned, washed, diced, chopped, 
stewed, fried, and baked for hours at 
a time are bewildered by how readily 
the younger generation accepts each 
new food — frozen plate dinners, pizzas, 
pot pies, chow mein, shrimp Creole, 
cake mixes. But, in her busy life, our 
young homemaker is happy to heat 
and serve important parts of her meals. 
If she wants to, she can still express her 
own individuality by adding another 
seasoning or flavoring, using a sauce, or 
combining two items to make a third. 

All of these new products make us 
wonder why so much has happened 
in so short a time, particularly when 
for decades Americans followed almost 
the same pattern of shopping for food 
and in preparing meals. As with most 
dynamic changes, these have resulted 
from a combination of factors. But, 
trying to identify what actually started 
it all is difficult, for each change seems 
to have depended on another occurring 
at about the same time — or nearly so. 

Perhaps all these changes have been 

Harry H. Harp is an Agricultural Economist 
in the Marketing Economics Division, Economic 
Research Service. 

William S. Hoofnagle is Deputy Director of 
the Marketing Economics Division. 

speeded up because more of us live in 
cities, more of us have more money to 
spend as we like, more women work 
away from home, and our younger 
homemakers appear to have a multi- 
tude of outside interests. Underlying 
all this is the value being placed on 
the use of time — and enough money 
to allow considerable latitude as to 
how we spend it. 

Many of us, and this includes a fair 
share of today's homemakers, travel 
considerable distances to our work. 
We leave home early, and arrive home 
late. This brings in more money, but 
it uses up more of our time. Even 
young mothers who stay at home may 
have to take the children to school, 
go to the bank, to the cleaners, and 
so on. All these factors have helped to 
put a premium on "time." 

To meet demands for time-saving 
foods, new equipment had to be de- 
signed along with new methods for 
processing, new preservatives, new 
packages, and even new methods of 
getting these foods to the grocery. 
Then, too, family shoppers had to be 
alerted that such foods were available. 
All this has contributed to the develop- 
ment of mass markets. In terms we 
often hear, this has called for mass 
production, mass distribution, and 
mass consumption. 

The effect of the increasing demand 
for new foods has been felt way back 
to the farm. There have been new 
varieties of products developed which 
can be mechanically harvested and 
ones which can be shipped long dis- 
tances—often clear across the country. 
New varieties of tomatoes for process- 
ing have' been developed which can be 
harvested by machine. These tomatoes 
are uniform in size, they all ripen at 
virtually the same time, and they have 
tougher skins so that they will stand 
machine handling. 

Because of consumer demand for 
tender, juicy, flavorful beef, farmers 
have selected breeds of cattle which 
give these qualities. The animals are 
fed special rations and marketed at 
younger ages and lighter weights than 
formerly. Farmers are also raising 

breeds of hogs with less fat. Then, 
too, whole farms are devoted to 
producing broilers that come to market 
when they are young, tender, fresh 
appearing, all cleaned and ready to 
cook. With our larger, more mecha- 
nized farms, one farmer now feeds 
about twice as many people as he did 
10 years ago. 

Though many changes have taken 
place on our farms, probably the 
greatest changes have occurred in food 
processing, packaging, and distribu- 
tion. We've made great strides in 
controlling food texture, taste, tender- 
ness, and storage life. Sometimes years 
of experimentation are necessary to 
solve the technical problems related to 
development of a new product form — 
to perfect recipes which will have a 
general appeal. Many products now 
coming to market are the result of 
research initiated in the late forties or 
early fifties, like boil-in-the-bag items 
and dehydrated salad mixes. Today, 
lots more food products are in the 
experimental stage. 

Many new methods are being used 
in processing foods. Even the older 
techniques have changed somewhat. 
Fresh foods are still kept in cold stor- 
age, but now even temperature and 
moisture are controlled — and even the 
oxygen or carbon dioxide of the air. 
This keeps the foods from spoiling or 
ripening too fast. 

Canning, as in previous years, is 
important for preserving fruits, vege- 
tables, and meats. But, added to these, 
we now have a much wider assort- 
ment of ready-to-serve forms ranging 
from soups to desserts — from soups of 
the gourmet type to the cornstarch 
puddings that mother used to make. A 
new adaptation of this process is 
called aseptic canning where the con- 
tainer and the contents are sterilized 
independently of each other. Steri- 
lized milk aseptically canned will keep 
for several months without a signifi- 
cant flavor loss. Milk processed this 
way is now being shipped to the Far 
and Middle East. 

One of the most successful new kinds 
of dairy products on grocery shelves 


are the aseptically canned puddings. 
These precooked puddings come in 
various flavors. Some can even be 
used as ice cream topping. 

Frozen foods are becoming com- 
monplace. Our young shoppers have 
been able to buy them most of their 
lives. Quick freezing has done much 
to lengthen the season of foods, to 
provide us with fresh-tasting foods in 
numerous convenient forms the year 
around. Recendy, however, even this 
process is providing new foods and 
taking on new forms. New combina- 
tions of foods are in the supermarket 
cases — vegetables in cream sauce, fro- 
zen plate dinners, entrees for one per- 
son and even for families of five, 
shrimp and lobster newburg, frozen 
egg noodles, and a wide variety of 
canapes. Almost every food prepared 
at home can be purchased frozen. 

New cryogenic freezing techniques 
are being experimented with that may 
provide us with frozen lettuce and salad 
mixes. This method uses temperatures 
below minus 100° F. Mushrooms, sea- 
foods, onion rings, and bakery prod- 
ucts are being frozen in this manner 
along with such hard-to-freeze foods 
as tomato slices, melons, and bananas. 

Dehydrated foods now are respected 
members of the convenience food 
line — instant potatoes, nonfat dry milk 
powders, fruit juice powders — that are 
made ready for serving by just adding 
boiling or cold water. Current research 
promises dry whole milk in the future. 

Freeze-drying — which combines both 
freezing and drying — is becoming in- 
creasingly important as a method of 
food preservation. Foods processed by 
this method are used as ingredients in 
other products, like chicken in dry 
soup mixes and fruit in dry cereals. 
Campers can purchase a variety of 
dehydrated meats, dairy foods, eggs, 
vegetables, fruits, and desserts that 
take up little space and can be recon- 
stituted rapidly. Some day we may 
have such exotic items as freeze-dried 
catsup, barbecue sauce, gravy, pickle 
relish, chives, and sirup — easy to keep 
without refrigeration and quick to 


Some processes, which were devel- 
oped for specific products, have now 
been extended to others. The "puff" 
process, first developed for cereals, and 
which popularized the expression "shot 
from guns," was once actually made 
by equipment that looked much like 
guns. Now a similar procedure is being 
used for carrot pieces and is being 
tried out on apple slices, blueberries, 
and beets. 

But special processing techniques are 
only one aspect of the innovations that 
have brought us so many new prod- 
ucts. Equally as important and prob- 
ably newer is the widespread use of 
"additives" and the development of 
the "synthetic" foods. 

Today, when we read the list of 
ingredients in a product, we meet 
names that may have little meaning 
to us. For example, monosodium glu- 
tamate, lecithin, mono- and diglyc- 
erides, ascorbic acid, and sodium 
benzoate. These are additives, some 
from natural sources, and some manu- 
factured. They have a big variety of 
uses — to improve nutritive value, like 
the addition of vitamins A and D to 
margarine; for enhancing flavor and 
color; to keep a product from spoiling; 
or as emulsifiers. One or more of these 
additives are found in a wide range of 
foods — from meats, flour, cake mixes, 
and bread to cheese, margarine, salad 
dressings, ice cream, and beer. They 
are safe when their use is approved by 
the Food and Drug Administration. 

We have antioxidants which help 
keep cooking oils and shortening from 
becoming rancid; mold inhibitors in 
bread, such as sodium and calcium 

Emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thick- 
eners are used in bakery products, 
cake mixes, ice cream and other frozen 
desserts. They affect the volume, and 
help to give a product the right con- 
sistency — smooth and uniform tex- 
ture — and to keep it that way. Leci- 
thin, mono- and diglycerides, and 
vegetable gums are names of com- 
monly used emulsifiers. Gelatins are 
used for thickening and as a stabilizing 
agent. Starches are used in whipped 

Dehydrated foods are versatile. Left, camper 
cooks with dehydrated food in a national forest. 
Above, precooked dehydrated sweetpotato 
flakes, developed by USDA. Below, orange 
juice disc made by drying concentrated citrus 
juice in a new USDA process. 

products, chilled desserts, cream pie 
fillings, and soup mixes. 

Saccharin and calcium- and sodium- 
cyclamates are used as nonnutritive 
sweeteners in a wide variety of prod- 
ucts for diet-conscious consumers. 

We could go on and on. But these 
illustrate just a few of the unfamiliar 
names on packages. And some of our 
newest foods use several of them. 

Probably the most recent items to 
come to the forefront are imitation 
foods. These resemble well-known nat- 
ural foods in flavor and appearance 
but are manmade by combining con- 
stituents from different products. Most 
"imitation" foods are made using 
agricultural products. Examples in- 
clude meatless meats, filled milk, and 
imitation or nondairy milk. 

Meatless meats, like imitation bacon 
bits, are made from soybeans. They are 
tasty and have a good aroma. In 
contrast to meat, this simulated product 
can be stored a long time without re- 
frigeration. Some of these products, 
which have been sold through health 
stores, are now finding their way into 
grocery stores. 

"Filled" milk contains skim milk 
and a vegetable fat instead of butter- 
fat. It is being produced and sold in 
some States. At present, however, it 
can't be shipped across a State border. 

"Imitation" ice cream consists of 
vegetable fat and nonfat milk solids. 
Mellorine is probably the most widely 
used term for this product. 

Among the most recent imitation 
foods are the substitute fresh fluid 
milk products. "Imitation" milk is 
made by combining vegetable fats, 
vegetable protein, corn sirup solids, 
sodium casemate, stabilizers, and 

Imitation and filled milks look and 
taste like regular milk but usually will 
sell for less. However, these products — 
particularly imitation milk — may have 
smaller amounts of some nutrients. 

Nondairy coffee whiteners and 
whipped toppings are examples of 
other imitation products. Some of 
these products can be kept for quite 
long periods without refrigeration. 


These are some of the newer proc- 
esses and substances that have given 
us many new foods. Along with them 
have come packages of every descrip- 
tion. Changes in food packages are so 
closely associated with the changes in 
food processing that neither could 
have developed to any great extent 
without the other. 

Packaging materials have been de- 
veloped which will keep products a 
long time. Some have been fashioned 
into containers that can be used and 
even reused at home. 

Packaging has also cut down on the 
space needed for transporting prod- 
ucts from the processor to the grocer. 
It has made our self-service system 
work more smoothly. 

In recent years, cans have been 
made easier to open by adding the 
tab-pull opener, pull-strip, and plastic 
lid. These containers are used for 
such diverse products as mustard, 
mayonnaise, and more recently milk. 
And, although plastic bottles now rep- 
resent only a small percent of milk 
containers, their share is increasing. 

Aerosol containers, originally de- 
veloped for fly sprays, are being used 
for such products as whipped topping, 
cheese spreads, and decorative cake 
icings. These are proving quite popu- 
lar, and we may find many more 
foods adapted to this type packaging. 

Sauce mixes and instant mashed 
potatoes packaged in laminated alu- 
minum envelopes can be kept on 
kitchen shelves for long periods. Extra 
ingredients, like flavorings or cheese 
which are to be added during home 
preparation of mixes, are often put in 
these containers. 

Packaging has become so vital to 
the success of a product that the 
proper material and type of package 
to be used is generally decided upon 
simultaneously with development of 
the new item. 

With all the new products coming 
on the market, advertising has been 
playing an important role. As it would 
be difficult for us to find time to dis- 
cover these products on our own, TV, 
magazine, and newspaper ads tell us 

what is new, what these items can do, 
and where they can be purchased. 
Packages usually carry directions on 
"how to use." 

Advertising also helps processors to 
build a market. For companies to con- 
tinue to spend time and money in 
developing new foods, markets must 
be found and enough products sold 
or they will disappear from grocers' 

One more point of interest to most 
of us is the cost of these new foods 
in comparison to their made-at-home 
counterparts. Some are less expensive. 
But, so far, most are more cosdy. 
Whether they are too expensive or not 
has to be decided by each family 

shopper. In the end, it will probably 
revolve around the value, monetary 
or otherwise, which she puts on her 
time. One thing for sure, with these 
new foods a homemaker can regularly 
give her family a wide variety of foods. 
She also can prepare interesting and 
different company dinners, and still 
be rested enough to enjoy her guests. 
All of this — the development of 
new varieties of foods on our farms, 
new processes by our manufacturers, 
and new ways to get these products 
to us — is a preview of the future. 
As our population grows in number 
and in affluence, the demand for more 
and better food and marketing services 
will continue. 

Above, California store displays mixes that 
typify the constant flow of new food products. 
Left, crawfish for today's food market, raised 
in flooded Louisiana rice fields. A few farmers 
have begun producing these "crawdads" as a 
new rotation crop with rice. 


Alden C. Manchester 

and Brokers: 
Buyers by 
the Carload 

Eggs in the nest, milk in the bucket, 
beef on the hoof, apples on the tree, 
and wheat in the field are of no im- 
mediate value to us who live in cities. 
Before we can buy such products, they 
must be harvested, processed, pack- 
aged, and transported. And to do this 
for 200 million people takes many 
hands and many businesses. Each of 
these has its own part to play; each is 
important in its own way. And whole- 
salers and brokers, the last to handle 
food on its way from the farm to the 
grocery, have significant roles to play 
in keeping our food industry running 

Can you imagine what it would be 
like if each of the tens of thousands of 
food packers and processors had to do 
business with each one of the 200,000 
grocery stores, plus an ever larger 
number of away-from-home eating 
places? If every one of these companies 
had a salesman visiting the same retail 
store, the grocer wouldn't have time 
to sell us what he buys. A virtual bed- 
lam could result. 

Someone must bridge this gap — to 
bring together a wide assortment of 
products ready for delivery on short 
notice. This is the job of our whole- 


salers and brokers. Though both are 
go-between agents or middlemen, their 
methods of operation are quite differ- 
ent. The wholesaler physically stocks 
and sells food while the broker is a 
modern version of the traveling sales- 
man — bringing buyers and sellers to- 
gether without physically handling a 
single product. With this introduction 
let's take a closer look at how each of 
these "go-betweens" does his job. 

The wholesaler buys by the carload 
and sells by the case. He keeps the 
merchandise in some kind of a ware- 
house located in the area he serves. 
This warehouse may be a large build- 
ing with racks upon racks of cartons, 
or it may be one equipped with 
sophisticated equipment that controls 
the temperature and even the nitrogen 
or oxygen content of the air. He may 
have an office force that checks out 
orders to grocers, carton by carton, or 
an automated operation that seems to 
have a mind of its own. He may stock 
onlynonperishables — "dry groceries" — 
or a much wider assortment of prod- 
ucts. As in other business, the owner 
determines the kind of Wholesaling and 
warehousing and the products to be 

Some larger processors operate their 
own "distribution centers" which per- 
form the wholesaling function for the 
items that they produce. Large- and 
medium-size chains often have their 
own warehouses; some retailers are 
"affiliated" with wholesalers which do 
the buying for them. And, then, there 
are the independent wholesalers with 
no special affiliation. They buy prod- 
ucts for, and they sell to, any or all 
customers that come their way. While 
about three-fourths of all the non- 
perishables — canned goods and the 
like — sold in grocery stores are chan- 
neled through warehouses of proces- 
sors, chains, and affiliates, most of the 
perishables are still handled by inde- 
pendent wholesalers. 

Many warehouses may have racks 

Alden C. Manchester is Chief, Animal Products 
Branch, Marketing Economics Division, Economic 
Research Service. 

upon racks of cartons waiting to be 
sold. But there are many other types 
as well. For example, nearly a third 
of our food now goes to restaurants, 
cafeterias, school and factory lunch- 
rooms, hamburger stands, vending 
machines, and the like. Because of the 
growing importance of these away- 
from-home eating places, unique busi- 
nesses have developed to serve their 
special needs. 

Some wholesalers specialize in sup- 
plying ready-to-cook roasts, steaks, 
and chops. Meats are selected, cut, 
and packaged according to exacting 
specifications so restaurant managers 
can have better control over their 
costs. Other wholesalers specialize in 
supplying hamburgers. They buy the 
beef, grind, season, and even shape 
the patties ready for the grill. Several 
hundred companies peel potatoes; 
others prepare salad mixes so that all 

Grocery warehouse elevator rolls along narrow 
aisles, allowing operator to pick store orders 
from either side. As each case is picked, it is 
automatically identified for an individual store 
and then moves on conveyor to where the 
orders are assembled. 


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the cook has to do is add the dressing. 
Though these specialists provide a 
sort of glamour to wholesaling, those 
who stock the thousands and thousands 
of items sold in our supermarkets are 
still the backbone of these operations. 
To perform the job of wholesaling in 
an age of rising costs, changing foods, 
and increasing customer demands, 
these businesses must be run as effi- 
ciently as possible. In recent years, 
companies have been trying to stream- 
line many of their operations — the size 
of orders, number of deliveries per 
week, and so on. Some use compli- 
cated machinery to shorten the time 
and reduce the personnel needed to 
fill orders. 

Though many changes have been 
made, visionaries are projecting the 
concept of efficient management much 
further. They foresee an automated 
system of food distribution starting at 
the supermarket checkout counter and 
winding up at the farm. It would go 
something like this: The first step 
would be to assign a code number to 
each item, designating the processor, 
product, brand, grade, and package 
size. This number would be stamped 
on each package using a special ink so 
that as we pass the checkout counter 
an electronic scanner could record our 
purchases, item by item. These records 
would be checked automatically against 
inventory lists. When the inventories 
dropped to a predetermined level, the 
list of items needed would be trans- 
mitted to a wholesaler. His computer 
would print out the order and start it 
on its automated journey back to the 

But this isn't all! When the whole- 
saler's inventory drops down to a 
specified level, his computer would 
relay an order to the food processor. 
And, finally, to carry this process to 
its conclusion, the food processor's 
computer would be joined with the 
farmer's to tell him what to plant or 
raise. This may seem rather far out, 
but so did circling the moon just a 
few short years ago. 

Before leaving the wholesalers, we 
should recognize some of their other 


contributions. Our modern whole- 
salers also provide a variety of services 
for their customers — the "specialized" 
wholesaler, for the department he sup- 
plies in a supermarket; the "general 
line" wholesaler, for the whole store. 
If a retailer wishes, a wholesaler of 
fresh fruits and vegetables will virtu- 
ally take over the entire management 
of the produce department, including 
ordering, displays, and pricing. Some 
meat wholesalers provide a similar 

Many "general line" wholesalers 
offer a complete range of services from 
helping to design stores and to obtain 
financing, to merchandising, advertis- 
ing, and pricing. In many ways, these 
services are identical to those offered 
by chains to their retail stores. 

Last but not least, supplies in whole- 
salers' warehouses are a reserve which 
could keep us in food for some time in 
case of a breakdown in our transpor- 
tation system due to some national 
disaster. It provides us with a modest 
insurance against such events. 

Wholesalers may have warehouses 
that cover acres; most brokers operate 
out of offices that are small by com- 
parison. This is due largely to the 
different methods employed by these 
two kinds of middlemen. 

Our 3,000-plus food brokers are 
local businessmen whose job is to find 
a market for the products that packers 
and processors want to sell and the 
items that the grocers and wholesalers 
want to buy. Processors expect a broker 
to be an authority on local market 
conditions; grocers look to him as a 
reliable source of supplies and a wide 
selection of items from which to choose. 

To get a general idea of what our 
grocery brokers do, let's look at a com- 
posite picture of how they operate. 

The average broker serves 22 com- 
panies, none of which sell the same 
kind of products. He sells and mer- 
chandises 25 brands and 245 items, 

employs 8 salesmen, and has a sales 
volume of around $5 million a year. 

A food broker operates in or near 
the city where his office is located. As 
a rule, he is the only local agent for 
the companies he represents. He works 
on a commission basis, and hence re- 
ceives no pay for his efforts until sales 
are made. 

The broker's salesmen visit local 
chain headquarters, wholesalers, and 
retailers to get orders for future deliv- 
eries. These are mailed to the respec- 
tive processor; when urgent, they are 
telephoned or tele typed. 

These salesmen provide customers 
with information about new products, 
discuss their merits and the types of 
promotions and advertising provided. 
Later, they report back to the com- 
pany about the degree of acceptance 
of the new products and the problems 
encountered. At times, they offer sug- 
gestions on changes in package sizes 
and advertising programs that might 
better suit local situations. 

When a retailer is given a special 
allowance to feature a product in his 
newspaper ads or for in-store displays, 
the broker has to furnish the company 
proof that this has been done — usually 
a copy of the ad or a picture of the 
store display. 

The broker's strongest traits are his 
intimate knowledge of local market 
conditions; close personal relationships 
with local buyers; and awareness of 
the likes and dislikes of both grocers 
and consumers. 

Wholesalers and brokers bridge the 
gap between us and those who prepare 
our food. They are the necessary links 
between the many packers and proc- 
essors of food products, retail stores, 
and away-from-home eating places. 
While the particular arrangement un- 
der which they provide these services 
can and has changed over the years, 
their function is essential and must be 


D. B. DeLoach 

A 'Showcase' 
for Food, at 
Your Local 

Most of us think we have a herculean 
task just to provide the variety of food 
which will keep our family happy. 
Think, then, what a task it must be 
for a grocer who has to provide a 
variety of food which will satisfy a 
thousand or more shoppers! 

Each of the many Marys, Marthas, 
and Pauls that make up the present 
and prospective market of a grocery 
store has preferences based upon his or 
her own background and present 
income. None is ever a "typical" or 
"average" shopper. Nevertheless, satis- 
fying all our needs is the job that faces 
the owner or manager of each of more 
than 226,000 grocery stores. It is our 
grocer who must try to please us at 
any hour, of any day, of any year as 
we shop in his store. 

We have always had some kind of a 
shopping mart, but the present type — 
the supermarket and the super- 
supermarket — are largely products of 
the past 25 years. This growth has 
been stimulated largely by the rela- 
tively greater efficiency and profita- 
bility of large versus small volume 
stores. Apparendy, the large stores 
now fulfill best our desires for a wide 
variety of products and other services. 

Today, we seem to take super- 
markets for granted, yet at the same 
time, expect them to do a multitude 
of tasks for us. We expect them to 
stock the items we want, change these 
as the seasons and our wants change, 
guarantee the quality of the products 
which they sell, and take all the risks 
involved in trying to balance their 
supplies with our demands. This is 
not a simple task, as a closer look at 
several of their responsibilities and 
problems will show. 

Food retailing is a service business. 
Though the kind and number of serv- 
ices may vary greatly from store to 
store, each grocer has two jobs — pro- 
viding adequate supplies and selling 
them to us. He must anticipate our 
demands for the thousands of items he 
stocks as well as the services he must 
provide to make a sale. 

Supplying the items that we want 
requires him to locate, purchase, and 
store a multitude of products. Selling 
involves proper pricing of these and 
determining how they are to be paid 
for — cash or credit. In fulfilling those 
functions, a grocer acts as an inter- 
mediary between his customers and 
the rest of the food industry. As such, 
he must establish and maintain good 
working relationships in both directions. 
A retailer who strives to build his 
business must find an economical and 
feasible way to cater to his present 
customers and, at the same time, try 
to get others to shift their patronage 
to his store. One of the most successful 
ways has been to stock a wide assort- 
ment of products and brands — both 
food and nonfood. 

This trend toward almost unlimited 
selection characterizes most modern 
supermarkets with their 8,000 items 
compared with around 3,000 just two 
decades ago. Despite the rapid increase 
in the number and kinds of items of- 
fered, there are indications that our 
insatiable desires may not even be fully 
satisfied by supermarkets offering as 
many as 9,000 to 1 0,000 different items. 

D. B. DeLoach is Professor of Agricultural 
Economics, University of California, Davis. 


This desire and willingness to pay for 
greater customizing of both products 
and services has spawned specialty 
bakeries and gourmet shops that cater 
to those of us who want "something 

Supermarkets are constantly offer- 
ing a different assortment of items. 
But so many new ones become avail- 
able each year that a retailer could 
not possibly stock them all. Through 
constant testing of customer responses, 
decisions are made as to which will 
sell best in a particular locality. As a 
result, many new products never reach 
our supermarket shelves. Even with 
this restriction, more than half the 
items now stocked were not available 
10 years ago. 

With all of the choices provided in 
supermarkets, some shoppers still com- 
plain they are being forced into a 
product-use pattern by retailers. The 
opposing view is that a grocer cannot 
afford to handle all items offered him, 
and thus must choose among them. 
Nevertheless, this process of selection 
still provides us with a wider variety 
from which to choose than would be 
economically feasible under any other 
supply system. 

Another successful method used by 
grocers to keep or increase their sales 
has been to provide a wide range of 
services. The most important of these 
include check cashing, air condition- 
ing, offstreet parking, longer store 
hours, and carryout services. 

With grocers basing most of their 

Items Important or Essential to Shoppers 
in Their Choice of Food Stores 

Percent of shoppers 

Absolutely Essential or 

Store attribute essential important 

Is easy to shop 45 75 

Has wide selection of 

items 43 71 

Has best quality of 

meats in area 54 67 

Is easy to get to 39 63 

Has top vegetable and 

fruit department 43 62 

Has favorite brand 38 62 

Is nearby 34 53 

Gives best value on 

canned products 32 52 

Has low prices in area.. 31 52 


competitive strategy upon the wide 
variety of products, brands, and serv- 
ices, they offer, one wonders just how 
important these actually are to the 
customer in choosing a store. Inter- 
views of shoppers show that eight 
factors ranked above prices as abso- 
lutely essential or important. Of these, 
location of the store and the assortment 
and quality of items offered were at 
the top of the list. 

There are all sorts of difficulties in 
trying to balance supplies and services 
with customers' demands. Neverthe- 
less, the job of a retailer is to solve 
these problems. How well he does 
determines his success or failure. The 
firms that survive and prosper are 
those that buy and sell as efficiently 
as possible. Such firms are successful 
in both assembling supplies and using 
their money and personnel resources 
to achieve their business objectives. 
This requires good planning. 

Because of our consumer acceptance 
of — or preference for — large super- 
market-type grocery stores, most sales 
are made through this type of market. 

Retailers often try to lower their 
unit output costs by selling more 
merchandise without a corresponding 
increase in such inputs as labor, 
facilities, and maintenance. When 
such "economies of scale" are possible, 
total net profit will rise. In fact, total 
net profit might increase even though 
both the unit price and total price 
received from sales are lowered. Gen- 
erally, "economies of scale" are pos- 
sible in grocery stores and firms. 

Widespread acceptance of the prin- 
ciple of economies of scale, the more 
favorable net profits of large as com- 
pared to small firms, and the greater 
ease with which medium and large 
chains can obtain investment capital 
have brought us fewer but larger 
stores and companies. An indication 
of this is that supermarkets now rep- 
resent around 15 percent of all grocery 
stores, compared with 6 percent in 
1954. Contrary to what many may 
assume, all supermarkets are not 
owned by the chains. According to 
recent information, those independ- 

Gourmet section of a food store. 

ently owned represent about half of all 
supermarkets — which is the same as 15 
years ago. 

With the growing importance of 
supermarkets, we are now spending a 
larger share of our grocery money in 
these big stores than ever before — 
nearly three-fourths today compared 
with a little more than half in 1954. 
Independently owned supermarkets 
have around 40 percent of these sales. 

Some people are concerned about 
the impact on communities of the 
decline of the small grocery store; 
and others are concerned about the in- 
crease in economic power in the 
hands of fewer companies. However, 
most of us appear to ignore such issues 
and shop where we wish as long as we 
can buy what we want at satisfactory 
prices. In other words, if shopping and 
sales patterns are indications of our 
preferences, most of us have chosen to 
shop in supermarkets regardless of 
type of ownership or business organi- 
zation. Furthermore, the pronounced 
and fairly rapid shift of patronage 
from small to large stores since World 

War II indicates a favorable attitude 
toward the supermarket-type grocery. 

Much of the reason for the increased 
sales of supermarkets can be found in 
the changes in where we live, our 
shopping patterns, and our incomes. 
Nearly three-fourths of our population 
lives in or near large cities. And the 
recent trend for more of us to move to 
suburban areas has affected the gro- 
cery business considerably. Further- 
more, we don't want to move to an 
area unless there is reasonably easy 
access to supplies and services, partic- 
ularly food. 

New communities are often built on 
land formerly used for farming, and 
there are few, if any, old stores large 
enough to serve the influx of people. 
Hence, this is ideal for building new 
modern stores. The investment in both 
buildings and equipment is relatively 
high as modern refrigeration space, 
frozen food display counters, parking 
lots, and air conditioning are standard 
for these suburban stores. Supermar- 
kets today in these new communities 
usually offer both food and nonfoods, 


the latter ranging from clothing to 
household appliances. If a wide range 
of items are not provided, satellite 
shops usually open up and a shopping 
center results which fulfills practically 
all supply-service needs. 

Inasmuch as three of the first four 
priorities for choosing a place to shop 
for food are that it must (1) be easy 
to shop, (2) have a wide selection of 
items, and (3) be easy to get to, com- 
petitive zeal often results in too-large 
stores, an unduly big inventory, and 
a notion that the supermarket must 
handle "everything." 

Another competitive excess arises 
from "over storing," which comes from 
misjudgments of the number of stores 
required to meet our idea of "easy to 
get to." Overstoring has often created 
competitive problems which merchants 
have sought to solve through addi- 
tional types of promotion which have 
either increased marketing costs or 
reduced profits. One evidence of the 
trend toward overstoring is the fact 
that in the midsixties, consumers were 
within reach of 5 to 6 supermarkets — 
compared to 4 or 5 some 10 years 
earlier. This ease of access to more 
supermarkets results mainly from more 
automobiles, good roads, and parking 
facilities provided by the supermarkets. 

About three-fourths of our grocery 
sales are made by chain or inde- 
pendent supermarkets that are com- 
peting for the same customers. In 
general, these retailers must depend 
on the same sources of supply for most 
of their merchandise, equipment, and 

Except for the private brands of 
chainstores and of a few independent 
supermarkets, most grocers handle the 
same brands. Even their store equip- 
ment and buildings may be built by 
the same companies, using the same 
plans. This leads to a high degree of 
standardization of merchandise and 
facilities of various types. Hence, it is 
evident that something unusual has to 
be done to induce customers to shop 
at one store in preference to another. 
The most vital question for an indi- 
vidual grocer is how best to get and 


to keep enough customers to make his 
business profitable. 

Given the amount of standardization 
of products and services that are found 
in all our grocery stores, it would seem 
that prices would be the logical method 
of competition. To be sure, there is a 
considerable amount of similarity in 
the prices of a number of products. 
But, because "across-the-board" price 
cutting is regarded as too risky and 
self-destructive, grocers have tended 
to be conservative in the use of this 

With the advent of "discount" gro- 
cery stores, the barrier to "across-the- 
board" price cutting may be weakening. 
Recently, some rather noticeable down- 
ward adjustments in pricing policies 
have occurred. Because of the lowering 
pf prices and resulting gross margins, 
there have been severe pressures upon 
the retailers to reduce their operating 
costs. This has made necessary sub- 
stantial cutbacks' in so-called services, 
or an increase in total sales. 

A quick examination of the practices 
of five chainstore firms which have 
adopted a lower markup policy shows 
they tried to compensate for the lower 
margins by reducing the number of 
items handled, eliminating promotions 
such as trading stamps and games, 
cutting down the number of hours and 
days their stores are open, eliminating 
carryout services, and cutting back on 
their maintenance costs. It was as- 
sumed that such economies and the 
increase in customers resulting from 
lower prices would yield greater net 
revenue. Some of the first companies 
to adopt this pricing policy did achieve 
good results. The main question, how- 
ever, is whether "all" our grocers can 
follow this practice and get the same 
favorable results. 

The National Commission on Food 
Marketing estimated that it would take 
an average of a 21 -percent increase in 
sales to obtain a 5-percent decrease in 
store-operating costs. If this is correct, 
it is evident there will have to be sub- 
stantial reductions in the number of 
grocery stores to have an increase in 
sales of this size per store, or the total 

demand for food and services will have 
to rise. 

Because the expenditures in grocery 
stores directly affect most of us, prices 
and profits are watched closely. De- 
spite all efforts to keep prices from in- 
creasing too much, the retail food 
price index has been going up. This, 
of course, has stimulated consumers 
and government agencies to try to 
find out the cause. One of the most 
recent inquiries, made by the National 
Commission on Food Marketing, 
found that the chainstore margins had 
increased 28 percent in the past 20 
years. Since gross margins (difference 
between the cost of the products and 
the selling price) accounted for only 
around a fifth of the increase in prices, 
the remaining four-fifths had to be 
due to the higher prices paid out for 
supplies and other needs. 

In order of importance, the primary 
contributing factors to higher gross 
margins have been the costs of labor, 
rent and real estate, and promotion. 
Though this has been the case, many 
people have blamed rising prices on 
the domination of a few firms in the 
retail food business. Since the gross 
retail margin includes whatever profits 
remain after paying all expenses, the 
real question is whether margins rose 
because of higher net profits. 

The Commission's data show that, 
because net profits per dollar of sales 
average about one cent, higher retail 
store profits have not been the major 
reason for the gradual rise in prices 
and margins. Nevertheless, the Com- 
mission concluded that, during most 
of the postwar period, profits of retail 
food chains have been high in relation 
to other industries. Moreover, large 
profits in relation to dollars invested 
have contributed to the overstoring 
that plagues the grocery business. 

Retail food stores employ about 1.6 
million workers, about 45 percent of 
them women. Based on current statis- 
tics, wages paid to workers in retail 
food stores amount to around $5 
billion. The administrative employees 
probably add in another $1 billion. 

While these are rough approxima- 

tions, they do indicate the magnitude 
of the labor bill in the grocery retailing 

The growing importance of grocery 
chains and independent supermarkets 
which operate under fairly uniform 
labor contracts has tended to raise 
the level of wages and employee bene- 
fits. Today, these compare favorably 
with other industries that require com- 
parable education, skills, and expe- 
rience. In addition, competition for 
workers has had a beneficial influence 
on other conditions of employment, 
particularly fringe benefits. Because 
the retail grocery business, like many 
others, is undergoing rapid technologi- 
cal change in almost every phase of its 
operations, it is now competing with 
other industries for highly trained 
people, skilled workers, and managers. 
The larger retail grocery firms can 
also offer employees opportunities for 
on-the-job training and advancement 
into managerial positions. Such op- 
portunities were much more restricted 
in small, family-operated stores. 

Other costs have been rising, also. 
Rent and real estate costs have been 
going up and on the average, account 
for about 10 and 13 percent, respec- 
tively, of the operating costs of food 
retailers. Significantly, the increase in 
promotional costs for single-store own- 
ers has almost doubled in the past 15 
years, which reflects the competitive 
conditions in the retail grocery trade. 

The shift of our purchases from small 
retailers to supermarket-type stores 
is exerting an unrelenting competitive 
pressure upon the small, single-store 
firms. Unless our shopping patterns 
begin to change, the very existence of 
the small grocery is seriously threat- 
ened. This in turn implies still further 
concentration of retail sales in larger 

We have discussed the past and 
present status and problems of our 
grocery stores. This makes us wonder 
what the future will bring. At times, 
it seems that all possible changes must 
have taken place, but in this tech- 
nological age, such conclusions can 
prove quite naive. 


"Company cuts" and aged prime beef are 
featured at this meat counter. 

Those who try to look into the 
future anticipate many changes in our 
grocery stores — in size, location, items 
stocked, and use of automation. Here, 
in brief, is what is frequently predicted : 

In new suburban areas, many super- 
markets have been turned into a 
modern version of the old general 
store. This trend will probably con- 
tinue until food may represent only 
half or less of total store sales. Food 
may be a department in the store — 
rather than its chief purpose. To 
balance this, the current trend toward 

convenience or bantam stores will 
accelerate. These will take the place 
of the corner or neighborhood grocery. 
Some of the bantam stores may be 
located in high-rise apartments and 
even in office buildings to make it 
still easier to shop. 

New food items will appear and 
disappear in a much shorter time than 
in the past. They will be advertised 
in a way to bring customers into a 
particular store since competition will 
have become more intense. 

Competition to keep up sales volume 
also increases as more people eat more 
meals away from home. Stores will 
carry more ready-to-eat items, and 
family sized, precooked, frozen food 
entrees will be offered to entice people 
to fix quickie meals at home rather 
than eating out. 

Because innercity supermarkets can- 
not expand in size as much as those in 
suburban areas, shelf space will be at 
a premium. This should lead to stricter 
inventory controls. Fast-selling items 
will be given more space and slower 
moving ones less. The actual amount 
allotted various products will be deter- 
mined by formulas, and computers 
will be used to signal the point for 
replenishing of stock and transmitting 
orders to a warehouse or wholesaler. 
This will help keep in-store inventories 
at a minimum. 

Automation may be carried even 
further. Some predict we will put a card 
in a slot beside each item we want as 
we travel around the store. When we 
reach the checkout counter, our pur- 
chases will be ready and the bill totaled. 
But different from today, we may not 
pay our bill with cash. It may be 
automatically transferred to our check- 
ing account or to some central credit 

It will be interesting to see how these 
predictions work out. 


Stephen J. Hiemstra 

20 Years of 
Change in the 
Food We Eat 

Many things have been happening 
during the past two decades. We have 
fought two wars. Cars have become 
more powerful. Social problems have 
grown more acute. The stock market 
has boomed. Prices have risen. Our 
incomes have doubled. And we're eat- 
ing differendy, too. 

Though changes in what we eat may 
not be in the same league with the 
others, they're equally important to 
each of us, or possibly even more im- 
portant. So, let's look at the broad 
changes that have taken place. 

There are many ways to look at 
what has happened to our food buying. 
We can examine our own buying and 
stop there. Or we can see what kind 
and how much food is used by families 
with different incomes; by small and 
large families; or by those living in 
cities and on farms. As a starter, let's 
see how we, a Nation of some 200 mil- 
lion people, eat differendy now than 
we did just 20 years ago when there 
were 50 million fewer of us and our 
incomes were about half as big. 

Probably the one change we notice 
most is the arrival of a host of new and 
radically different items on our grocery 
shelves. Some of these are old foods in 

new sizes, shapes, or packages. Others 
are new products. For example, con- 
sider the large variety, many sizes, and 
strange shapes of breakfast cereals. 
These come presweetened and un- 
sweetened; plain or with freeze-dried 
fruit added; uncooked and precooked; 
and even specially prepared for babies. 
Some cereals snap, crackle, and pop. 
Others just lie there and soak up milk. 
But most are still made from wheat, 
corn, or rice. 

Less noticeable, but perhaps even 
more important, is the change in the 
relative amounts of different kinds of 
foods we're buying. Today, we use 
more meat and poultry per person; 
more processed fruits and vegetables, 
margarine, and salad and cooking oils 
than we did back in 1950. While in- 
creasing use of these foods, we've cut 
down on fresh fruits and vegetables, 
dairy and cereal products, eggs, and 
some of our beverages. 

While our buying patterns have 
changed, we are bringing home from 
the supermarket only about 5 percent 
more food per person than we were 
10 years ago. But during this period 
the population of our country has 
grown by a third. So as a Nation we 
are buying much more food. 

Beef and broilers have been the big 
gainers in our increased individual 
buying of meat and poultry products. 

The rise in our use of beef has been 
due mainly to our growing preference 
for steaks and hamburgers. We are 
buying more beef despite an increase 
in beef prices. 

Pork chops and ham are not as 
popular as they were at one time, 
although they have risen in price no 
more than beef. The amount we buy 
varies considerably from year to year, 
but pork chops and ham don't com- 
mand the prestige of steak. Our pref- 
erence for beef is indicated, also, in 
the smaller amount we buy of veal 
and lamb. 

Chicken and turkey have become 

Stephen J. Hiemstra, an agricultural economist, 
is Head of the Food Consumption and Utilization 
Section, Economic Research Service. 


year-round items — not as much the 
Sunday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas 
treat they used to be. We're buying 
nearly twice as much of these as we 
did back in 1950, mainly because the 
prices are much lower. But as before, 
we still use much more chicken than 

And we aren't the "eggheads" we 
used to be. The popularity of eggs has 
declined along with our traditional 
American breakfast. Toast and coffee 
for adults and cereal and milk for the 
kids have become the standard fare. 
Rising prices for prepared cereals and 
the declining prices for eggs have not 
stemmed the tide. 

Most dairy products have gone the 
way of eggs. Fresh whole milk, cream, 
evaporated milk, and butter have borne 
the brunt of this drop. To an increas- 
ing degree, nondairy products — coffee 
creamers and whipped toppings — are 
being used in place of cream. But in 
the process, these new products have 
enlarged the total market for creamers 
and toppings. More recently substi- 
tutes like "filled milk" have started 
to make inroads in our purchases of 
whole milk. Vegetable fats are used in 
this product to replace butterfat. On 
the other hand, cheese and low-fat 
milk have gained in popularity. 

One of the biggest stories, however, 
is our shift from butter to margarine. 
But our purchases of total "table 
spreads" haven't changed very much. 
Twenty years ago, we bought around 
twice as much butter as margarine. 
Today, it's just about the reverse. 

Along with increasing our use of 
vegetable oils in the form of margarine, 
we are buying larger quantities of 
these oils as cooking and salad oils. 
Lard, an animal fat and a longtime 
favorite, is being used less for cooking, 
but is gaining in importance as an 
ingredient in solid shortenings and 
other products. 

Contrary to what we might expect 
in this age of affluence, our total use 
of fruits and vegetables has gone down. 
In spite of the fact that most fresh 
fruits and vegetables are available the 
year round, they are not used in as 


Oatmeal prepared in cereal dish. Just adding 
hot water to this new product makes old-time 
favorite an "instant" breakfast food. 

large quantities as they were 20 years 
ago. Instead, we are buying more 
processed products, with frozen vege- 
tables and citrus concentrates leading 
the way. Then too, some of the newer 
methods of processing, such as freeze- 
drying, are being used on some of these 
foods. We have freeze-dried straw- 
berries in cereals, freeze-dried vege- 
tables in dry soup mixes. 

Price and convenience helped bring 
about this change in our food buying. 
Prices for fresh fruits and vegetables 
have gone up much faster than for 
processed products, even though proc- 
essed product prices have risen faster 
than for most other foods. And the 
processed products offer us more con- 
venience and variety. 

What has happened to our old 
standby the potato is almost sensa- 
tional. After a long period during 
which we used smaller and smaller 
quantities each year, potatoes now 
seem to have come into their own. 
Though we still haven't increased our 
use of fresh potatoes, our purchases 
of processed products are more than 
making up for this. Today, we can buy 
them canned, frozen, and dried. And, 
within each of these kinds, there's a 
wide enough selection to fit into almost 
any menu from breakfast — if you like 
hash browns or fried — to the most 
elegant dinner. 

Finally, we are purchasing smaller 
quantities of flour, some cereal prod- 
ucts, and coffee than we did two . 
decades earlier. The amount of wheat 
flour used in all consumer products 
has been going down at a rate of about 
1 pound per person per year, though 
now the rate appears to be slowing up 
somewhat. On the other hand, we're 
buying more rice and corn products. 
Though purchases of cornmeal have 
gone down along with the drop in 
home baking, the use of corn in break- 
fast cereals has increased. 

In addition, much more corn is be- 
ing used for making sugar and sirups, 
most of which goes into candy and 
processed foods. 

Despite the growing importance of 
corn sweeteners and the rising popu- 
larity of noncaloric sweeteners, our 
total use of sugar has remained fairly 
stable. Soft drinks take the largest 
amount of the noncaloric sweeteners 
as our weight watchers continue to 
buy more and more of these. Alto- 
gether, over two-thirds of all sweet- 
eners are being used in processed 
food and beverages. 

Though it seems it can't be true, 
we are drinking less coffee than we 
did — at least we've been using smaller 
amounts of coffee beans. Part of this 
change is due to the introduction of 
"instant" coffee during the fifties, 
which now has stabilized at nearly a 
fifth of our coffee consumption. But use 
of "instant" tea continues to expand. 

All of these shifts in our food pur- 

chases make us wonder why we made 
them. There are probably as many 
reasons as there are families, but here 
are some that are important. First, 
there's the size of our paycheck. As 
our income goes up, we tend to buy 
a little more food — but not too much- 
more. If there's no change in prices, 
we tend to increase the total quantity 
purchased by 1 or 2 percent for each 
10-percent increase in our income. 
Added to this, we tend to buy higher 
priced items. 

By contrast, if prices go up and our 
income stays the same, we tend to 
buy 2 to 3 percent less food with each 
10-percent increase in price. In this 
case, we tend to shift to lower priced 
food items. 

As we all know, during recent years 
we've had rising incomes and rising 
food prices. So let's see what effect 
this combination has had upon our 
buying practices. 

During the past 20 years, prices of 
meat, fruits and vegetables, cereal and 
bakery products, dairy products, and 
vegetable oils have increased. At the 
same time, those of poultry, eggs, and 
coffee have gone down. Our use of 
fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, and 
dairy products went down as prices 
went up. But we ate more meat, used 
more processed fruits and vegetables, 
and used more vegetable oils despite 
their rise in price — showing our prefer- 
ence for these foods. 

We bought larger quantities of poul- 
try products as prices went down. But 
even though prices went down, we 
bought fewer eggs. Our change in 
breakfast habits may be responsible 
for some reduction in the use of eggs. 

All of us together spend more than 
$ 1 00 billion a year for food — yet today, 
this represents only a fraction more 
than 17 percent of our take-home pay. 
In 1950, we spent 22 percent of our in- 
comes for food; in 1960, we spent 20 
percent. To make today's 1 7-plus per- 
cent even more significant, note that 
we are having a larger share of our 
food preparation done for us now than 
two decades ago. 

So far, all the figures given have been 


Researcher studies effects of 
microwave heating on a frozen 
precooked hamburger. Many 
foods are dispensed from refrig- 
erated vending machines and 
brought to serving temperature 
by customers placing them in 
microwave oven. 

averages for our Nation as a whole. 
This is one way we determine the eco- 
nomic direction we're traveling. But, 
each of us is likely to face a somewhat 
different combination of circumstances. 
We may have had smaller or even 
larger increases in our incomes than 
the average or a larger- than-average- 
size family. We may have moved from 
one part of our country to another or 
from the farm to the city. Then too, 
some families attach more importance 
to gourmet foods than others. Any 
of these things will affect an indi- 
vidual family's purchasing, and make 
it vary from the "average." 

A recent study found that the per- 
centage of income spent upon food 
varied from around 30 percent for 
families with incomes below $3,000 
to around 1 2 percent for those earning 
$15,000 or more. About a third of the 
money spent for food by the highest 
income group went for meals and 
snacks eaten away from home. Low- 
income families spent a much smaller 
share of their food budget away from 
their homes. 


Two-person families spent an aver- 
age of 19 percent of their income for 
food compared with 26 percent by 
families with 6 or more persons. Of 
course, part of these differences were 
associated with income variations — 
the larger families having the higher 
total incomes but smaller incomes per 
family member. 

The study also showed that after 
allowing for home-produced food, 
farm families used a larger share of 
their income for food than families 
living in cities. Again, part of this 
difference was due to variations in 
level of income. 

Though regional differences were 
small, families in the north-central 
and western regions spent less of their 
incomes for food than those in the 
Northeast and South. 

This is a telescoped picture of our 
use of food as a Nation over the past 
two decades. If current predictions 
come true, the next two decades will 
bring large additions to our incomes 
and many more changes in the kind 
of foods we buy. 

Denis F. Dunham 
Robert E. Frye 

Shedding Light 
on the Prices 
We Pay for 
Our Food 

How often have you heard a neighbor 
say, "Aren't food prices high these 
days?" Or had her imply that by re- 
marking, "I spent $35 at the grocery 
yesterday and don't have a thing for 
dinner." Chances are each of us has 
made these or similar comments. But 
why is it, in a country where many 
have two cars, two television sets, and 
even a boat, that we are so aware of 
food prices and express so much 
interest in them? And why is it we 
seem to be more aware of prices that 
go up than those that go down? 

There are probably lots of reasons 
why we are so conscious about in- 
creases in food prices. For one thing, 
food is a major item in most family 
budgets. Then, too, it's purchased 
frequently, and any price changes are 
quickly reflected in our pocketbooks. 
For something that touches our every- 
day lives and affects our finances as 
much as food, we are almost always 
comparing prices. 

Price by itself is a relatively simple 
word, but it can have a variety of 
meanings. It can have one meaning 
to those who examine the state of the 
Nation's economy; another to farm- 

ers, processors, and retail store owners. 
And still another to each of us as 
consumers. Food prices may be the 
figures stamped on packages or car- 
tons, but if we are to understand their 
real meaning, we have to know what 
they represent and what it is that 
makes them change. 

Food prices represent the sum of the 
costs incurred and profits earned by 
farmers, processors, and retail store 
operators in providing us with a host 
of products and services. And in one 
way or another, all these prices are 
affected by the same economic con- 
ditions that determine those of other 
goods and services important in our 
day-to-day living. Because the food 
industry is interconnected with every 
other segment of our national econ- 
omy, it must compete in the national 
market for labor, materials, equip- 
ment, and other needs. Thus, food 
prices tend to follow the general price 
trend in the Nation. 

Though this is the overall situation, 
the value assigned to a product may 
be different for the farmer, the proc- 
essor, the neighborhood grocer, the 
supermarket operator, and the low- 
or the high-income shopper. In these 
various capacities, each will have a 
level, real or imagined, that becomes 
the basis for determining the reason- 
ableness of a price. And at each of 
these stages — producing, marketing, 
and purchasing — the value placed on 
a product may be different tomorrow. 

Most everyone knows that food prices 
have been going up — sometimes at a 
slow pace, sometimes at a faster one. 
While we may not have all the facts 
needed to explain why, most of us 
have opinions about who and what 
are causing the changes. So let's look 
at food prices from the various view- 
points, starting with their relation to 
our Nation's economy. 

One way to compare changes in the 
food price level is to see what has 
happened to prices of other goods and 

Denis F. Dunham and Robert E. Frye are 
agricultural economists, Market Development and 
Performance Branch, Marketing Economics Divi- 
sion, Economic Research Service. 


Checkout counter at Washington, D.C., supermarket. 

services. Since food is but one item 
in our family budget, it should not 
be singled out as the sole reason — or 
even the most important reason — for 
changes in the cost of living. 

On the national level, comparisons 
of prices are made using the Consumer 
Price Index. This index measures the 
changes from month to month in the 
overall level of prices of all goods and 
services, and those of major groups, 
such as housing, apparel and upkeep, 
transportation, health and recreation, 
and food. These major categories are 


also divided into important subgroups. 
For example, the Food Index has two, 
one designed to show changes in the 
price of food used at home and the 
other to show changes in prices of food 
eaten away from home. Each month, 
the same list of foods is priced in cities 
around the country. Then, these are 
compared with the average price of 
the same item during the 3-year period 
1957-59, to determine which foods 
have changed in price and how much 
this has affected a family's food bill. 
The index for all items, the one that 

indicates how much the cost of living 
has changed, shows that during the 
past 10 years the prices of all goods 
and services important in our day-to- 
day living have gone up 21 percent. 
During the same period, food, housing, 
apparel and upkeep, and transporta- 
tion went up about 20 percent. In 
contrast, the index for health and rec- 
reation went up 30 percent. 

The Consumer Price Index may 
have more meaning to us if we look at 
changes in prices of the subgroups. 
For example, prices of food at the 
grocery have gone up only 16 percent 
in the past 10 years compared to 36 
percent for food in public eating 
places. During these same years, foot- 
wear went up 32 percent in price; 
homeownership, 27 percent; public 
transportation, 38 percent; and med- 
ical care, 45 percent. The index for 
gas and electricity changed the least, 
going up only 10 percent. 

Prices of goods and services have 
been going up for many reasons. The 
decade of the 1960's has been a period 
of rapidly rising incomes and falling 
rates of unemployment. Such condi- 
tions are usually associated with some 
degree of inflation, for as the number 
of persons without jobs goes down, 
wages tend to be bid up and incomes 
rise. If these higher wages and other 
costs are not offset by gains in pro- 
duction efficiency, prices usually rise. 

Fortunately, for a large share of 
Americans, higher prices have been 
accompanied by wage increases. On 
the average, our incomes have more 
than kept pace with prices. If they 
didn't, we would not have the new 
homes, the two cars, or the two 
television sets many of us enjoy today. 

Price changes are also measured in 
other ways. The U.S. Department of 
Agriculture measures trends in prices 
of foods that originate on U.S. farms 
by changes in the cost of a "market 
basket." This market basket is based 
upon the average quantities of food 
purchased per year in 1960-61 by 
urban wage earner and clerical worker 
families and single workers living 
alone. It excludes imported foods and 

Farmer's Share .39 


Marketing Share .61 


seafoods which are not produced on 
U.S. farms. Quantities and qualities 
of foods in this market basket are held 
constant so that price changes are not 
affected by shifts in our purchasing 
patterns. The cost of this basket of 
food is estimated, using retail prices 
that are published by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics. 

During the past 10 years, the retail 
cost of the market basket has increased 
about 14 percent. This means that for 
every $10 spent upon these foods a 
decade ago, we spend $11.40 today. 
However, three-fifths of the rise oc- 
curred in 1965 and 1966, and the 
consumer boycotts followed. If this 
increase had been evenly distributed 
over the entire period, we probably 
wouldn't have been as aware of the 
rise in prices. 

For most of the past decade, rising 
marketing costs have been the main 
cause of higher food prices. Moreover, 
since 1957-59 marketing costs have 
caused two-thirds of the increase in 
the retail cost of the market basket. 


The rise in food prices in 1965 and 
1966 that seemed to trigger the grocery 
boycotts was unusual in that farm 
prices played a major role, although 
the boycotts were not aimed at farm- 
ers. After going down in the early 
1960's, farm prices rose sharply during 
the last months of 1965 and the first 
part of 1966. These changes in farm 
prices were the result of smaller sup- 
plies of important foods and a greater 
demand due to significant increases in 
family incomes, sales of food to foreign 
countries, and military requirements. 
In 1 967, a decline in farm prices caused 
a drop in retail prices, but farm and 
retail prices rose again in 1 968. Market- 
ing costs continued to go up during the 
1965-68 period, causing some of the 
rise in food prices. 

Prices are important to farmers, for 
about 2 out of every 3 dollars they 
receive go for expenses such as live- 
stock feed, fertilizer, pesticides, and 
fuel, or are absorbed by overhead 
business costs such as depreciation on 
buildings and equipment. The other 1 
dollar is the return for their work and 
on their capital investment. So far, 
prices of things needed to operate 
farms have increased much more than 
those farmers have received. Fortu- 
nately, some farmers have been able to 
expand production enough to offset 
part of these increases in costs. 

To add to the problems of farmers, 
prices of farm products are unstable 
compared to those of automobiles, fur- 
niture, newspapers, and haircuts — to 
name only a few goods and services 
important to us. This is largely due to 
the limited control over supplies of 
farm products and the demand for 
food which is exceptionally stable. 
Most farmers produce as much as they 
can since the amount produced by any 
one seldom affects the market price. 
Hence, there is a tendency to over- or 
under-produce and, as a result, for 
farm prices to fluctuate. When food 
supplies are plentiful, farm prices may 
be relatively low. The reverse is true 
when foods are in short supply. 

On the average, farmers receive less 
than half of what we pay for food. In 


recent years, they have received about 
39 cents of each dollar we spent at the 
grocery for farm foods. A farmer re- 
ceives such a small part of the retail 
price of some foods that, even if he 
gave them away, the price at retail 
would be reduced by less than a fifth. 
For example, in 1968 the average price 
of a 1 -pound loaf of white bread at the 
supermarket was 22.4 cents. Only 2.6 
cents of this went to the farmer for the 
wheat used in the loaf. Thus, if he had 
been paid nothing for his wheat, the 
bread would still have cost 19.8 cents. 

Farmers also receive only a small 
part of the retail price of such foods 
as cookies, corn flakes, canned peach- 
es, and frozen french-fried potatoes. 
Changes in farm prices of these items 
have litde effect on retail prices. On 
the other hand, farmers receive more 
than half the prices we pay for such 
major items as meat, eggs, and butter. 
Moderate changes in the supplies and 
farm prices of these products will affect 
retail prices more. The difference in 
what a farmer receives from our food 
dollar is largely a matter of how much 
processing and packaging is necessary 
before his product reaches the grocery 

Farmers have not been making large 
profits. Although their incomes have 
been improving, they still lag behind 
those of most other workers. In addi- 
tion, incomes are not evenly distrib- 
uted among farmers. This distribution 
differs greatly from one area to another, 
one year to the next, and one kind of 
farm to another. 

Foods go in many directions after 
they leave the farm and pass through 
many hands before they reach our 
grocery shelves. The task of getting 
food to us in the right form, at the 
right time and the right place is the 
function of the food marketing system. 
Doing these jobs for us takes the re- 
maining 61 cents of each dollar we 
spend at the grocery. The businesses 
that do all this work number in the 
thousands and include grain elevators, 
milk processing and botding plants, 
fruit and vegetable canning factories, 
bakeries, and retail food stores. 

What happens to products after 
they leave the farm determines, to a 
large extent, the appearance, variety, 
and quality of the foods we buy and 
the prices we pay. Without the market- 
ing system, our steaks would be stand- 
ing in a feedlot in Iowa, our cheese and 
butter would be milk on a dairy farm 
in Wisconsin, while our orange juice 
would still be on the tree in Florida or 

Of course, as is true for other things 
we buy, we must pay for the services 
provided by the marketing system, 
and the cost of these has been increas- 
ing. During the past 10 years, the cost 
of an hour of labor used by processors, 
wholesalers, and retailers has gone up 
almost 50 percent. And because labor 

Preparing frozen turkey dinners at Minnesota 
processing plant. 

is usually the largest item of cost, 
increases in labor cost have had a 
significant effect on retail food prices. 
The sharp rise in food prices since 
1964 has been caused, in part, by 
labor costs that have risen at a faster 
rate recently than during the previous 

The marketing system has been able 
to offset part of the increase in the 
cost of labor by adopting new methods 
and equipment, by improving skills 
of workers and management, and by 
combining or eliminating small, ineffi- 
cient units. As a result, instead of 
increasing by 50 percent, the cost of 
labor per unit produced has gone up 
only 18 percent 

Another measure of increased effi- 
ciency is that, while the amount of 
food being marketed has increased 21 
percent during the past 10 years, only 
6 percent more persons have been 
needed to do the job. And the number 
of hours worked per week per person 
has actually declined. So, while hourly 
labor costs have been rising, the 
marketing system has been able to 
minimize the effect of the higher labor 
costs on the prices we pay for our food. 
If this hadn't been done, our food 
would have cost much more. 

During the past decade, other mar- 
keting costs have gone up, too. Items 
like rent, insurance, maintenance, and 
telephone services have increased by 
nearly a third. The cost of new plants 
and equipment are 1 7 percent higher, 
and prices of food containers, packag- 
ing materials, and electricity have 
gone up 8 percent. 

Over the years, profits of the food 
marketing industry have been lower 
than those of many other industries. 
Profits, before taxes, now take only 
3.6 cents of each dollar we spend for 
food — about the same as a decade ago. 
Though some marketing firms have 
been more profitable than others, 
higher industry profits have not been 
the major reason for rising food prices. 

During the past 10 years, profits of 
leading retail chains have been de- 
clining. While increased sales have 
brought in more dollars, the returns 


on their investments (after taxes) have 
dropped to around 10 percent or about 
two-thirds of what they were a decade 
ago. To put this another way, profits 
now amount to approximately 1 penny 
of each dollar spent at the grocery. 
So eliminating the retailer's profit 
entirely would not appreciably lower 
food prices. 

As in other businesses, food firms 
must make a profit, at least over the 
long run. Profits are quite variable, 
and at times may seem excessive. 
Whether they are too high or too low 
is impossible to judge without knowing 
all the facts. 

Profits may be thought of as an 
investment in the future, for they are 
necessary to stimulate investment in 
more efficient facilities and for re- 
search on new and improved products. 
With no extra funds to use in this 
manner, it would be difficult for our 
food industry to keep pace with other 
industries in a rapidly changing age. 

For the most part, the functions of 
marketing — processing, transporting, 
wholesaling, and retailing — are essen- 
tial to our urban-oriented society where 
most of us have little or no contact 
with agriculture. Since World War II, 
our food industry has established a 
good record of efficiency. And it has 
provided us with a steadily increasing 
variety of wholesome, nutritious, and 
appetizing foods at a reasonable cost 
while adjusting to our ever changing 

During recent years, we have also 
shifted many of our food preparation 
tasks to the marketing system. Because 
of the cost of developing these more 
highly processed foods, large sums of 
money have been spent to advertise 
and promote individual brands. Over- 
all, however, such costs must be viewed 
in the light of our competitive econ- 
omy. One company may be able to 
increase sales and profits by using 
advertising to differentiate its prod- 
ucts from those of another. This tends 
to make companies strive to improve 
their products, so they can remain 
competitive. We, as consumers, benefit 
from advertising to the extent that 


competition results in the development 
of new and better products and a more 
stable mass market. Advertising may 
also provide information about new 
products that are available. 

We have seen that to farmers and 
to those who process, transport, and 
market our food, prices represent what 
they will receive for their work. To the 
rest of us, the price on the package 
indicates what we may have to pay 
out. This is probably the main differ- 
ence in our approaches to food prices. 

Undoubtedly, most of us think we 
know prices. But do we, or can we, 
know them as well as we think we do? 
Do we know enough about the be- 
havior of prices to make good judg- 
ments about their current levels? How 
do we decide when prices are reason- 
able or too high? What are some of 
the factors that influence our knowl- 
edge of food prices and our attitudes 
toward them? 

Most of us as family shoppers buy 
around 30 to 40 items a week of the 
many thousands stocked in a modern 
supermarket. But some of these items 
change from week to week, so — in 
reality — we buy many more kinds over 
a period of a month or so. We may be 
able to remember the last price we 
paid for a few of these — the ones we 
buy regularly — but it's doubtful that 
we can do so for every item purchased. 
Added to this is the effect of normal 
fluctuations in prices. Because of the 
seasonal nature of production, prices 
of foods like pork, eggs, and fresh 
fruits and vegetables change more often 
than many others. Then there are the 
promotional changes in prices — the 
"specials," and "cents off." Through 
all this, we seem to have a better 
memory for prices that go up than we 
do for those that go down. And, though 
food prices have been trending upward, 
those of some important foods have 
declined. Such items as frying chick- 
ens, eggs, frozen orange juice concen- 
trate, and ice cream cost less today 
than a decade ago. 

Prices are responsive to changes in 
supplies. When supplies of food are 
scarce, we have to pay higher prices 

While prices were generally up, frozen orange juice con- 
centrate and eggs cost less in 1968 than decade ago. 
Eggs, left, are pictured on automatic egg-weighing 

— or change to another product. At 
times, even small changes in supplies 
caused by bad weather can have a 
noticeable impact on prices. On the 
other hand, when supplies are plenti- 
ful, prices usually go down because we 
only want so much food. 

Discussions of prices frequenUy cen- 
ter on convenience foods. Here, again, 
reactions differ. Because of the value 
one homemaker places on her time, 
she may consider partially prepared or 
ready-to-serve foods reasonably priced. 
Another homemaker may think they 
are too expensive. Yet, studies have 
shown that, when a reasonable value 
is placed upon a homemaker's time, 
many of these foods are no more ex- 
pensive than the same item prepared 
at home from basic ingredients, and 
some are less expensive. 

The store where we buy can affect 
our ideas about food prices. Because 
small neighborhood groceries have too 
few customers and can't buy in large 
enough quantities for efficient use of 
labor and facilities, they will usually 
charge higher prices than supermar- 
kets. Prices also vary among large 
supermarkets. Higher prices in one 
may be justified by differences in the 
kind and quality of products stocked 
and the customer services offered — 
like check cashing, carryout services, 
shopping hours. 

The continually changing character 
of our grocery stores — the ever chang- 
ing array of new foods and more and 

more nonfood items — makes it hard 
for us to be precise in our knowledge 
of many prices. 

Saying prices are high indicates a 
comparison, and usually this is in 
relation to what we have to buy with. 
Being human, we tend to think of all 
the things we want — and these may 
add up to many more things than we 
could purchase with our take-home 
pay even if all prices stayed the same. 

One way to make this comparison is 
to look at the quantity of individual 
foods which can be purchased with an 
hour's pay: 

Amount of Selected Foods the Average Hourly 

Earnings of Factory Workers Would Buy 

Item Unit 1948 1958 1968 

Round steak lb. 1.5 2.0 2.6 

Pork chops lb. 1.7 2.3 2.9 

Bacon, sliced lb. 1.7 2.7 3.7 

Bread, white lb. 9.6 10.9 13.4 

Butter lb. 1.5 2.8 3.6 

Margarine lb. 3.2 7.2 10.8 

Eggs doz. 1.8 3.5 5.7 

Of course, prices will always be 
important to us. What we have tried 
to do is to present a few facts about 
what can happen to food prices and 
why. Clearly, the increase in food 
prices in recent years has been caused, 
to a large extent, by higher production 
and marketing costs. At the same time, 
we are buying more expensive and 
higher quality foods. Compared to our 
incomes and to prices of many other 
things, food is still a good buy for 
most of us Americans. 


Eileen F. Taylor 

100 Million 
Times a Day, 
Eat Out 

More than 100 million times in each 
day, someone has a meal or snack in a 
fancy restaurant, a college cafeteria, a 
snackbar, or a hospital. If we picked 
up the check for all the meals and 
snacks we Americans eat away from 
home in a year, it would amount to a 
whopping $22 billion. 

Sounds impressive? Well, it is — and 
it's getting more so every year. We 
like to eat out, and just about everyone 
does so at one time or another. At 
least once a month, about 100 million 
of us have dinner at a restaurant; 66 
million go out for breakfast and twice 
this number eat lunch away from the 

Among us, however, "who" eats out 
and "when" varies considerably. Dur- 
ing the day, working people represent 
the largest share of customers, but in 
the evening, students are important, 
especially at the informal eating places 
like drive-ins. 

Men alone or in groups make up 
the bulk of customers during breakfast 
and lunch hours. At dinnertime, fam- 
ily groups take over. Later in the 
evening, couples predominate. 

We Americans like to take the whole 
family out — to give mother a break 


once in a while. Our children go along 
about half the time. Those between 
the ages of 6 and 12 are included most 
often. As most parents would guess, 
the younger ones are at home with a 
babysitter. Teenagers tend to want to 
go on their own. 

Overall, the postwar "baby boom" 
has provided millions of new custom- 
ers for the restaurant industry. In fact, 
total spending for food away from 
home has gone up at a faster rate than 
population. And restaurants catering 
to the under-35 groups have been 
growing even faster than the food 
service industry as a whole. 

"Where" we eat varies considerably. 
However, basically it is at one of two 
types of places — at an institution like 
a hospital, college, or camp or at some 
kind of public eating place — a restau- 
rant, cafeteria, snackbar, drive-in, and 
the like. 

Although institutions represent a 
small share of all eating places, they 
are important in the number of people 
they serve. For example, the average 
college serves 10 times as many meals 
and snacks each day as the average 
public eating place. 

But the typical American looking for 
a place to have lunch or one to take 
his family to for dinner isn't concerned 
about the meals being served in insti- 
tutions. He will choose one of the 
344,000 public eating places. It could 
be a spot to get a sandwich in a hurry, 
to take home a bucket of fried chicken, 
to stand in a cafeteria line for lunch, 
or to enjoy a leisurely dinner in a 
softly lighted dining room. 

The family going out for dinner is 
apt to go to a restaurant located near 
home. They shouldn't have a difficult 
time finding one open because the 
average restaurant operates more than 
13 hours a day, 6% days a week, 
throughout the year. This restaurant 
is likely to have tables or booths, and 
possibly counter and carry-out service 
as well. Usually the menu will offer a 

Eileen F. Taylor is a Food Economist in the 
Office of the Director, Marketing Economics Divi- 
sion, Economic Research Service. 

variety of American plate meals rather 
than a particular food like seafood or 
oriental dishes. 

But many kinds of eating places 
make up this average. For example, 
drive-in service is much more impor- 
tant in suburbs and rural areas than 
in central business districts. Counter 
service is more important in these 
areas. In small eating places — those 
with yearly sales of less than $20,000 — 
sandwiches and refreshments are the 
most important specialty; those that 
specialize in seafoods, chops, steaks, 
and roast beef are likely to have sales 
of $100,000 or more. 

Although most eating places are still 
independendy owned, chain opera- 
tions are growing in importance. A 
major reason for this is customer rec- 
ognition. As we get accustomed to the 
style, the food, and the service associ- 
ated with a certain name, we quickly 
recognize these wherever they are lo- 
cated — in our city or far from home. 
The golden arches and the orange roof 
have become landmarks because they 
are easy to recognize. 

There are other reasons, too — chains 
have the necessary staff and resources 
to do research and invest in market 
studies. They have the experience and 
the talent to open a new eating place 
and make a success of it. Some chains 
have taken advantage of the rapid 
growth in the suburbs and specialized 
in drive-ins that appeal to young fam- 
ilies. Some have diversified into the 

institutional field. Some offer prepared 
food for the customers to take home; 
others have developed their own brand 
of frozen foods so that their name is 
seen in grocery stores as well. 

Urban living, working far from the 
home, increased travel around the 
country and the world, and even tele- 
vision have helped to make our tastes 
more diverse. Our away-from-home 
eating places tempt us by featuring 
everything from a full course steak 
dinner to shrimp Creole to chow mein 
to a 20-cent hamburger. Though the 
largest share of eating places feature 
American-type meals, or sandwiches 
and refreshments, some specialize in 
Italian or oriental foods, roast beef, 
seafood, chicken, and steaks. 

And our tastes are somewhat fickle. 
We always seem to be searching for 
something new or different. Last year's 
standbys — beef stew, creamed dishes, 
hash, and liver — appear to be "out" 
these days. Main dish salads, barbe- 
cued foods, pizzas, feature sandwiches, 
and diet specials are "in." So are a la 
carte menus, and especially those that 
include extravagant desserts. 

The owner of a restaurant has to be 
constantly on the alert for changes in 
the kinds of food that will please his 
customers. A look at what's popular 
with the school lunch crowd — pizza, 
barbecued beef, or hamburgers — helps 
to guide the menu planner aiming at 
family groups. Even sales by his com- 
petitor — the grocer — can help. For 

A family dining out. 


example, young marrieds with small 
children may not have much extra 
money. But they remember how they 
ate at home before they were married. 
Gourmet foods and sauces appeal to 
them, and they tend to choose these 
when they get a chance to eat out 
Small town residents who do lots of 
baking at home may be intrigued by 
the eating place that features "home- 
style pastries." 

The widespread popularity of cer- 
tain foods has led to the growth of 
eating places featuring limited menus. 
Some drive-ins offer only one type of 
sandwich and a choice of beverages. 

In some chain organizations, the 
technique of preparation and service 
has become such an exact science that 
we can expect a roast beef sandwich 
or hamburger we buy in Denver to 
taste the same as the ones back home 
in Baltimore. The menu, the surround- 
ings, and the advertising too are all 
designed to attract those who want 
quick, informal, and inexpensive food 
served in a familiar atmosphere. 

But what may be even more inter- 
esting than the menu in your favorite 
eating place is how the cook prepares 
your meal. New food processing tech- 
niques and high cost of labor have 
combined to make partially and fully 
prepared foods very attractive to 
restaurant owners. It is quite possible 
that the delicious looking beef stroga- 
noff you are eating in California today 
was prepared and frozen in Connecti- 
cut weeks before, and possibly even 
months ago. When a waitress takes 
your order, the cook gets the entree 
from the freezer, puts it in a micro- 
wave oven, and it is ready to serve in 
seconds. If chicken salad is on the 
menu, the cook will open a can of 
dehydrated salad mix, add water, and 
chill. If you'd like an egg salad, he 
might open a bag of frozen diced eggs 
and use these in his favorite recipe. 

Some restaurants have achieved what 
might seem to be the impossible — vir- 
tually no kitchen at all ! With specially 
selected menu offerings, one employee 
can take frozen food from storage, heat 
it in a microwave oven, and seconds 


later, serve it Jo the customer. This 
means that more space can be devoted 
to selling instead of being used for 
oversized preparation areas. 

Many factors have combined to 
foster more eating away from home — 
to build an industry that, in a few 
years, may be serving us half our food. 
Important among these are the level 
of our incomes and where we live. Of 
these, our income is probably the most 
important. The more dollars we make, 
the more we spend for food away from 
our homes. 

Studies have shown that the families 
with incomes of $10,000 and over a 
year spent more than 25 percent of 
their food money for meals away from 
home; those with less than $3,000 
spent 10 percent. In actual dollars, 
the higher income families spent 10 
times as much each week eating out 
as those in the low-income group. 

When the wife works — as more than 
a third do now — the family is likely to 
eat out more often and to spend more 
doing so than a family having the same 
level of income with the wife not em- 
ployed outside the home. 

On the average, we spend about 5 
percent of our household budgets for 
food away from home. There is some 
variation in this depending on where 
we live, however. Families in the West 
spent the most dollars. Families in the 
Northeast were the second biggest 
spenders, followed by families in the 
North Central States. Families in the 
South spent the fewest dollars, but in 
the last decade they have been in- 
creasing what they spend to eat out 
much more than families in other parts 
of the country. If we live in the city, 
rather than on the farm, we probably 
will spend more on eating out. But 
these differences, like those between 
the various regions, are becoming less 

This is our food service industry 
today. What will it be like in the 
years ahead? 

To begin with, there will be more 
restaurants as the population increases 
and our take-home pay gets bigger. 
Today, there are more than 200 million 

Americans. By 1975, there will be 25 
million more of us, and 10 million 
more households. Younger families — 
those that are on the move and likely 
to eat out — will make up an even 
larger share of our population than 
they do now. Today, our median fam- 
ily income is a little more than $8,000. 
A third of our families earn more than 
$10,000. And it is predicted that by 
1975 more than two-fifths of us will 
have incomes over $10,000. Unless the 
cost of eating away from home goes up 
more rapidly than incomes, we'll have 
more people with more money to dine 
out more often. 

More married women will be work- 
ing away from home, so restaurants 
will be geared to demands of the 
working wife. Perhaps we'll see sub- 
stantial growth of restaurants in the 
suburbs, because this is where many 
working wives live. New restaurants 
will be designed for evening dining 
out for the whole family, at a place 
close to home. In addition, many of 
us like to use dining out as an occasion 
to entertain friends — especially those 
of us who live in apartments with 
limited space. Some experts are sug- 
gesting the possibility of a modified 
American plan — a system of special 
pricing for five dinners a month eaten 
in the same restaurant, with the same 
couple as hosts and different guests for 
each dinner. 

Our tastes will become more and 
more discriminating, so eating places 
will have to meet those ever higher 
standards of excellence that we expect. 

Except for luxury-type and spe- 
cialty restaurants which feature fine 
cuisine, chains and franchised opera- 
tions will continue to grow rapidly. 
We'll be able to identify even more 
establishments and types of eating 

places as we travel across the country. 

Growth of the chains and the con- 
tinuing importance of independently 
owned eating places mean that more 
and more people will be needed to 
work in and manage food service units. 
More than 150,000 openings a year 
are expected in the restaurant industry 
throughout the 1970's. Some of these 
will be new jobs as the industry grows, 
but most will be due to turnover. 
Even all of the new equipment and 
ready-to-serve foods won't ease the 
industry's need for good talent. 

Restaurant kitchens will be smaller — 
some may even be virtually elimi- 
nated. Kitchen work will be cut down, 
but capable personnel to do the final 
preparation and serving of food will 
still be in demand. Opportunities for 
skilled chefs and restaurant managers 
will be expecially favorable. For the 
restaurant industry of the future will 
service an even more sophisticated 
market and will need highly trained 
management people. 

Finally we, the customers, will be 
eating out more and more. Retail 
grocery stores are already feeling the 
impact of the increased away-from- 
home spending and are trying to cope 
with this new competitor by offering 
such services as a delicatessen, ready- 
to-eat barbecued chickens and an ex- 
panded frozen food department that 
includes family size entrees. 

As long as the present trends last, 
we will continue to spend our extra 
dollars for service — and one of the 
services we like the most is having 
someone else do our food preparation 
and cleaning up for us. The organiza- 
tion that provides that service best — 
restaurants, drive-ins, vending ma- 
chines, or even grocery stores — will 
prosper in the 1970's. 


M. L. Upchurch 

Farm Programs: 
Their Rote in 
Assuring Our 
Food Supply 

We Americans are lucky to be able 
to walk into a well-stocked super- 
market at almost any time and choose 
our food from the wide variety offered. 
But fortunate as we are, we still need 
a farming industry that will assure us 
of plentiful supplies in the future. 

Modern farming requires heavy 
investments of capital, along with 
heavy expenditures for seed, fertilizers, 
machinery, and fuel. The prices farm- 
ers get for what they plant or raise 
must cover all these costs and leave 
enough extra to pay for their efforts. 
If they can't cover these costs, farming 
as a business is in trouble, and our 
food supply is in jeopardy. 

Like many other businesses today, 
farming has experienced vast changes. 
Most farms of the past were highly 
self-sufficient. They provided a way of 
life and some cash money to buy 
necessities. Modern farms are com- 
mercial businesses. During this change, 
farmers have often been perplexed; 
and many have been forced to leave 
their farms to seek other ways to earn 
a living. 

Most of the change in farming has 
been brought about through improved 
machines, seeds, feeds, and fertil- 


izers — by the so-called technological 
revolution. Machinery now does much 
of the work formerly done by men and 
work animals. Better seeds and new 
fertilizers have increased the amount 
produced per acre. 

Modern farmers have the capacity 
to operate larger farms. Their desire 
to increase incomes encourages larger 
operations, and larger farms are re- 
quired to use the new developments 
efficiently. As a result of these changes, 
about a third of the farms now produce 
four-fifths of our food. The other 
two-thirds — the small farms — seldom 
produce enough to provide sufficient 
income for even a minimum level of 
living. As a rule, these farmers supple- 
ment their income with off-farm jobs. 

Farmers, as primary producers, face 
problems unlike those of most other 
businesses. A manufacturer can con- 
trol his production to approximate 
demands. He can slow or step up his 
output in response to sales. So far, 
however, farmers have had difficulty 
balancing supplies of their products 
with demand well enough to prevent 
violent ups and downs in prices and 
farm incomes. The individual farmer 
cannot improve his income by not 
producing, by letting his land remain 
idle. Moreover, the size of his crops 
are subject to the whims of nature. 
He can have a bumper crop, or a 
hailstorm can flatten his wheat just 
before harvest. 

Because of our needs for ample 
supplies of food for our ever increasing 
population, the farmer's plight must 
be our concern. For this reason, if for 
no other, various programs have been 
devised in an attempt to help farmers 
meet problems of erratic supplies and 
dislocations brought on by technical 
improvements. A look at some past 
problems may provide an insight into 
the rationale behind programs which 
have been devised to help the farmers 
and, at the same time, provide us with 
an adequate and continuing supply of 

M. L. Upchurch is Administrator, Economic 
Research Service. 

For a few years prior to World War 
I, farmers were relatively well off. 
Then, following that war, prices of 
farm products dropped sharply while 
those of other products stayed about 
the same or went up. 

At the time, some people regarded 
this change as a normal readjustment 
from pre-World War I levels. Others 
disagreed. One way suggested to show 
the relative well-being of farmers was 
by the use of a so-called "parity ratio." 
Parity was denned as the relationship 
between the prices received and prices 
paid by farmers during the period 
1909-1914. In general then, a parity 
ratio of 100 would mean that farmers 
were or are as well off at a particular 
time as in this pre-World War I period. 

Congress, too, was concerned about 
the plight of farmers and twice passed 
the McNary-Haugen bills which were 
twice vetoed by the President. Then, 
in the late 1920's, the Federal Farm 
Board was created to give farmers re- 
lief from low prices, but it was "too 
litde" and almost "too late" to help 
out very much. 

The advent of the Great Depression 
demanded action for relief of farmers. 
The days of". . . ten-cent cotton and 
forty-cent meat ..." had become 
"five-cent cotton and twenty-cent 
meat." Farmers were burning corn for 
fuel instead of coal, as there was no 
market for their corn and no money 
with which to buy coal. Many lost 
their farms because they couldn't pay 
their debts. It was during this period 
that Congress enacted the Agricultural 
Adjustment Act, commonly called the 
AAA, as one of a broad range of 
tools to fight the nationwide economic 

This early AAA program called on 
farmers to reduce production of basic 
commodities in return for price sup- 
ports guaranteed by the Government. 
Variations on this theme have been the 
core of farm legislation and programs 
ever since. In addition, prices of com- 
modities other than the basic grains, 
cotton, and tobacco have been sup- 
ported, when necessary, by direct pur- 
chases in the market. Some of these 

purchases have been financed by a 
portion of the import duties which 
legislation has decreed to be used for 
this purpose. In recent years, produc- 
ers of feed grains and wheat have been 
offered the opportunity to reduce their 
production below the former levels in 
return for price support loans and 
direct supplements to their income. 

These arrangements and other vari- 
ations have been used to try to restrict 
production of major crops and to 
increase incomes of farmers. They have 
been necessary because of the chronic 
tendency of farmers to produce more 
than our markets will take at satis- 
factory prices. 

You might ask, "Why don't farmers 
reduce their output without Govern- 
ment programs (f prices and incomes 
can be improved by restricted produc- 
tion?" The answer is that with 3 
million farms, the influence of any one 
farmer on production and price is 
negligible. No individual farmer can 
reduce the amount he produces and 
gain by increased prices unless all the 
farmers go along with him. 

Again, we might ask, "What would 
happen if we did not have such pro- 
grams?" As an example, let's examine 
what could have happened during the 
past decade if we hadn't had these 

A decade ago stocks of major farm 
products held by the Government were 
excessively large. It was evident that 
changes in programs were needed to 
bring about a better balance between 
supplies and demands. As a result, 
during recent years, farm programs 
have included price supports, acreage 
diversion policies (which affect both 
supply and income), and promotional 
programs designed to stimulate do- 
mestic and foreign demand. Export 
subsidies were also used in the early 
1960's, but more recendy these have 
been reduced or dropped. 

Records were kept of the volume of 
production, prices, and incomes that 
occurred under these circumstances, 
and studies have been made to ascer- 
tain what would have happened dur- 
ing this period without die various 


programs. As a basis for these analyses, 
we assumed a balance between pro- 
duction and demand for farm products. 
Besides, we assumed that land held in 
the Conservation Reserve at the be- 
ginning of the 1960's would gradually 
return to production. 

According to these studies, without 
the programs the production of farm 
commodities would have increased 
and prices would have gone down. 
Lower prices would have boosted 
domestic consumption and exports. 
Lower feed prices would have boosted 
livestock production which, in turn, 
would have lowered prices of live- 
stock. We would have had more land 
in wheat, feed grains, and cotton than 
we actually had. Prices of such crops 
as soybeans, rice, and tobacco would 
have been much lower than they 
actually were. 

There has long been concern about 
our farmers and their problems, and 
many diverse opinions as to how best 
to solve them. Because of this, in 1965, 
the President set up a National Ad- 
visory Commission on Food and Fiber. 
In his initial charge to the Commission 
he said: 

"New ways must be explored to 
keep agriculture and agricultural pol- 
icy up-to-date, to get the full benefit 
of new findings and of new technology, 
to make sure that our bountiful land 
is used to the best of our ability to 
promote the welfare of consumers, 
farmers, and the entire economy. 

"I am asking you as a Commission 
to make a penetrating and long range 
appraisal ... to construct a thor- 
ough and searching study of the effects 
of our agricultural policies on the 
performance of our economy . . . ." 

The report to the President by the 
Commission said — 

"... the pursuit of efficiency in a 
dynamic economy means adjustments 
for some of our people, and perhaps 
the need to look objectively at some 
of the long-held concepts we have 
associated with work and achievement 
on one hand, and social and economic 
organization on the other . . . 

"We have reached the stage when 


the nation must clearly separate its 
policies directed toward commercial 
agriculture from those designed to 
deal with poverty in rural areas. 
Analyses and solutions for one sector 
have no particular significance to the 
other . . . 

"The Commission is in almost total 
agreement on a number of modifica- 
tions needed in the present agricultural 
commodity programs to bring U.S. 
farming closer to a market orienta- 
tion, help to alleviate excess capacity, 
and become still more efficient and 
responsive to changes in productivity 
and markets. These include changes 
in the parity concept, price supports, 
deficiency payments, acreage allot- 
ments and quotas, reclamation pro- 
grams, conservation payments, stra- 
tegic reserves, export subsidies, and 
import quotas. 

"The main difference between the 
majority and minority of the Com- 
mission lies in the policies that should 
be followed after these initial steps 
are taken. 

"The majority of the Commission 
recommends that the modified pro- 
grams be retained until the problem of 
excess capacity in farming is alleviated, 
and farmers are able to earn incomes 
from the market that are comparable 
to nonfarm incomes. 

"They feel such programs may well 
be desirable as safeguards for farmers 
on a standby basis, even after excess 
capacity has been alleviated. 

"The minority believes that, follow- 
ing an appropriate transition period, 
the United States should rely on 
temporary income supplements or a 
moderate level of price deficiency 
payments, to protect farmers' incomes 
against temporary declines with a 
minimum of interference in the opera- 
tion of the market." 

Changes of the magnitude suggested 
will take time. But, if we are to con- 
tinue to visit our supermarkets and 
have the same choices tomorrow and 
the many tomorrows, future programs 
must make sure that the primary 
producers of food — our farmers — stay 
healthy, economically. 

Samuel C. Vanneman 

School Lunch 
to Food Stamp: 
America Cares 
for Its Hungry 

Hunger hurts. It hurts physically, men- 
tally, and emotionally. It is a harsh 
and ugly word that has no place in the 
American scheme of things. 

Nutrition is a quiet word — a grey 
word — it carries no image of anger or 
harshness. It is a positive word, and it 
has an important role in the American 
scheme of things. 

Americans are gradually becoming 
aware that hunger and, more par- 
ticularly, poor nutrition still do exist 
within our borders. 

In the last 30 years, the United 
States has steadily expanded and im- 
proved its programs to improve nutri- 
tion among children and low-income 

One example is the national school 
lunch program, enacted in 1946. Con- 
gress, in the National School Lunch 
Act, declares its policy to safeguard the 
health and well-being of children and 
encourage consumption of nutritious 

The Act authorized giving cash and 
foods to schools that offer a nutri- 
tionally balanced lunch to children, 
without profit. Such lunches include a 
half-pint of milk, a protein-rich food, a 
vegetable and/or fruit, and enriched 

bread with butter or margarine. 

The National School Lunch Act also 
requires that a child who cannot pay 
the full price of the lunch shall get it 
free or at a reduced price. The lunch 
program is further intended for all 
children, regardless of their ability to 

The special milk program — a dual- 
purpose program — was enacted in 
1954. By providing Federal cash assist- 
ance to help reduce the cost of milk 
served to children, nutrition would 
receive a boost while at the same time 
strengthening the market for sales of 
fluid whole milk. This program was, 
in many respects, a' stopgap until a 
complete lunch, including milk, could 
be made available to all children. 

The oldest of our food assistance 
programs is the commodity donation 
program for low-income families. It 
was started some 30 years ago, when 
an amendment to law authorized en- 
couraging consumption of agricultural 
commodities through donating them 
to low-income persons, among other 

Originally, the foods offered to 
State and local governments for dona- 
tion to needy families were limited to 
foods acquired by the Federal Govern- 
ment under price support and surplus 
removal programs. 

For many years, the foods offered 
depended, primarily, on supply fac- 
tors and bore little direct relationship 
to the nutritional needs of the family. 
In late I960, for example, the donated 
foods included lard, flour, cornmeal, 
nonfat dry milk, and rice. The assump- 
tion had always been that donated 
foods would provide some help and 
free some of the family's food purchas- 
ing power to buy other foods needed. 

Over the postwar years there had 
been little awareness of how many 
people — or how many families — were 
trying to live, trying to survive on the 
donated foods and little else. 

Early in 1961, steps were taken to 
build on what had been done, and 

Samuel C. Vanneman is Assistant Deputy Ad- 
ministrator, Consumer Food Programs, Consumer 
and Marketing Service. 


try some new approaches to improving 
nutrition. The first step was to increase 
the quantity and variety of the do- 
nated foods offered — with special em- 
phasis upon assuring the continuing 
availability of protein items. 

The second step was to introduce 
the food stamp program on a pilot 
basis. The food stamp program uses a 
different technique from that of the 
donation program. Food stamps are 
used to increase a family's existing 
food purchasing power. Families are 
required to purchase food coupons in 
amounts that reflect their normal level 
of food expenditure based on family 
size and income. This on-going food 
purchasing power is then supple- 
mented by additional food coupons 
provided free of charge. On the aver- 
age, families pay about $6 for every 
$10 worth of coupons they receive. 
Families shop for food in the food 
stores of their choice that are author- 
ized to redeem the food coupons. 
Virtually every food store in every 
community which has the program is 
authorized to accept food coupons. 
Families may buy any food they wish 
with the exception of a few imported 

Here again, we have a dual-purpose 
program. Families have an oppor- 
tunity to improve their nutrition while 
broadening the demand for farm 
products — particularly for perishable 
items such as meat, poultry, dairy 
products, and fruits and vegetables. 

The food stamp program was tested 
on a gradually expanded basis before 
enactment of substantive legislation in 
1964. This legislation contemplated a 
continuing gradual expansion of the 
program so it could be made available 
to every county and city that wanted 
it. Under one provision of the Food 
Stamp Act, a local jurisdiction may 
have the commodity program or the 
food stamp program but not both, 
since essentially they are directed 
toward the same end — improved fam- 
ily nutrition. 

During these years, every effort was 
made to encourage State and local 
governments to join one program or 


the other. Funding of the food stamp 
program has never been sufficient to 
cover all of the counties that have 
wanted the program, but these coun- 
ties have been urged to initiate a 
donation program as an interim step. 
Rates that many families had to pay 
for their stamps were reduced, effec- 
tive in February 1969. 

In mid-1967, a review of program 
coverage, geographically, revealed that 
many of the thousand lowest income 
counties in the country did not have a 
food assistance program for the low- 
income families. Many of these, with 
a limited tax base, felt they could not 
afford the donation program under 
which the costs of storage, distribution, 
and certification are borne by local 
governments with, in most instances, 
very limited help from the State. The 
U.S. Department of Agriculture moved 
to offer these local governments assist- 
ance in meeting local costs for the 
donation program. Similar assistance 
for a food stamp program is barred by 
language in the Food Stamp Act that 
limits financial assistance for admin- 
istration to a portion of certification 

Many counties accepted the offer of 
financial assistance. Many managed to 
find funds, locally, to join the pro- 
gram. But some counties simply said 
they did not want a food assistance 
program under any circumstances. In 
these instances, USDA moved to meet 
the larger responsibility to all our 
low-income families by using its own 
personnel to operate a commodity 
donation program in these counties. 
At the same time, USDA said it would 
stand aside any moment that the local 
government would agree to operate 
the donation program with or without 
financial assistance. 

Meanwhile the nutritive value and 
the variety of the foods offered under 
the donation program were stepped 
up. In early 1969, 22 foods were 
offered which, if they are all accepted 
by State and local governments and 
used by eligible families, will provide 
from 80 to 150 percent of the mini- 
mum daily requirements for all nutri- 

ents as recommended by the Food and 
Nutrition Board of the National Re- 
search Council. Since these foods 
amounted to some 35 pounds per 
person, each month, and most areas 
provide only a monthly distribution, 
some very practical limitations are 
encountered in terms of a large fam- 
ily's ability to get the food home and 
store it. 

Also, in mid- 1967, modifications 
were made in the food stamp program 
to make it more fully responsive to the 

priation available. Some further mod- 
ifications are now under consideration. 

As indicated above, modifications 
have been made whenever food stamp 
program experience has demonstrated 
a oeed for change. S till further changes 
are under consideration to assure that 
the program is as effective as possible 
in assisting low-income families toward 
the goal of an adequate diet. 

To further emphasize the national 
commitment to improved nutrition, 
the President has issued a call to 

Mother pays at checkout counter with food stamps. Back home, she uses purchases to feed baby. 

needs of participating families. The 
purchase requirement for the lowest- 
income families was dropped to 50 
cents a month per person, with a maxi- 
mum of $3 for a family of six or more. 
The first month's purchase require- 
ment for all families was reduced by 
half to give them time to adjust their 
budgets to the purchase requirement. 
Adjustments were made in the deter- 
mination of farm income so that farm 
laborers and others would not be 
priced out of the program. 

In February 1969, the price of 
stamps was further reduced, but the 
reduction was limited by the appro- 

convene a White House conference 
on nutrition in the fall of 1969. 

It has become increasingly clear 
that total community involvement is 
necessary if malnutrition is to be 
eliminated. The 1969 White House 
conference will summon the thinking 
and the ideas and the recommenda- 
tions of the widest possible range of 
concerned people from both the pri- 
vate and the public sector toward 
this end. 

An additional supplementary food 
program is underway in both food 
stamp and commodity donation areas 
to provide the low-income pregnant 


Mother and young child get extra food as part of free health care at 
public clinic in North Carolina. Above, child is examined at clinic. 
Doctor then writes food prescription as preventative measure or to 
treat specific health condition. Health official, below, checks records. 
Family will receive foods from USDA-donated stocks. 

women and new mothers and their 
young children with special foods to 
meet their special needs. 

The goal over the next several years 
is to have a family food assistance pro- 
gram operating in every county and 
independent city in the country— there 
are still more than 400 that do not 

Child Nutrition. Hand-in-hand with 
the evolution in family food assistance 
programs has been a similar develop- 
ment to improve child nutrition. Pro- 
gram growth under the school lunch 
program since its start in 1947 had 
been steady, but the progress made 
was deceiving. 

Behind the pleasant growth figures 
of 6 to 7 percent annually lay the un- 
pleasant truth that millions — literally 
millions — of children had been by- 
passed. The students in small rural 
schools and the students in the urban 
elementary schools had become the 
forgotten children. The free and re- 
duced price requirement in the Na- 
tional School Lunch Act was impos- 
sible to meet in the absence of greater 
funding. Many schools, knowing that 
their youngsters couldn't pay enough 
to make a viable lunch program, had 
declined to sign up. Others did come 
into the program but were only able 
to offer a fraction of the free and re- 
duced price meals that were necessary. 

The first major forward step of this 
decade was taken in 1962 when the 
school lunch formula for apportion- 
ment of Federal funds to the States 
was revised to reward those States 
making the greatest effort to increase 
participation. The previous formula 
had tended to reward the stand-pat- 
ters and discourage increased partici- 
pation — the more meals you served, 
the less you received per lunch. The 
second major step in that amendment 
was one authorizing a higher rate of 
reimbursement, per meal, in those 
schools drawing attendance from low- 
income areas. This provision was much 
needed and was enacted rather easily 
but was not funded until the 1964-65 
school year and, then, only to a very 
limited extent. 

It was apparent that many schools 
could not participate in the lunch 
program because they were unable to 
finance the cost of even simple, basic 
food service equipment. At the same 
time, increasing numbers of educators 
were finding that all too many children 
came to school without breakfast or 
with a totally inadequate one. They 
fell asleep at their desks — they became 
listless and inattentive or bored and 
restless. In the Child Nutrition Act of 
1966, the Nation moved to meet this 
need. Legislation authorized a pilot 
school breakfast program. It author- 
ized assistance in financing school food 
service equipment in low-income area 
schools. And it authorized help to the 
States in strengthening their technical 
assistance capabilities so as to get food 
service programs into a substantial 
number of schools that either had no 
programs, or where an on-going pro- 
gram was eking out a quite precarious 

In 1968, still another forward step 
was taken with legislation that author- 
izes food service assistance to day-care 
centers, summer day camps, neighbor- 
hood houses, settlement houses, sum- 
mer recreational projects — almost any 
situation where children are gathered 
together in organized groups and can 
be reached with a food service. This 
bill also extended the school breakfast 
program which during its pilot stage 
had proved its value many times over. 

Meanwhile, during these past sev- 
eral years, the Congress has provided 
a level of funding for the regular lunch 
program that will assure a steady rate 
of reimbursement per meal and allow 
for expansion of the regular program. 
For fiscal 1969, the Congress provided 
$45 million over and above the money 
appropriated for what might be con- 
sidered the regular child food service 
activities. The major share of these 
funds — $43 million — was allocated to 
provide free and reduced price meals 
to around 2 million additional needy 
children who could not have been 
reached with the money available 
under the regular child food service 


Above, a young charmer with her 
school lunch in the Nation's Capital. 
Below, child at Indian reservation in 
Oklahoma gets energy for class under 
pilot school breakfast program. 

We have, then, a situation where 
the regular school lunch program can 
continue to grow and expand while 
additional and new resources are being 
applied to get to the neediest children. 
And, as child food service grows, so 
does this big market for the Nation's 
farmers — nearly $1 billion is spent lo- 
cally for foods needed in the lunch 
and breakfast programs. 

Our national goal is a food service 
program available to every school 
child, priced at a level so that every 
child may participate. New approaches 
are being tested to minimize the cost 
of equipment, for example, through 
the use of centralized kitchens serving 
a number of satellite schools. 

There is one more major drive under 
way that affects both the family food 
assistance programs and the child 
nutrition programs — an all-out effort 
to get across the nutrition message. 
This drive seeks to explain why good 
nutrition is important and to make 
good nutrition part of everyone's life. 
The actual existence and participation 
in the food programs is not enough — 
people need to know why they should 
eat certain foods. And this applies to 
all of our families, however poor or 
however affluent. 

Kenneth W. Olson 

U.S. Farmers, 
Suppliers of 
Food for 
the World 

American farmers produce such a large 
volume of agricultural products that 
there is plenty for all of us, with large 
amounts left over to share with the rest 
of the world. 

Our country is the world's biggest 
exporter of farm products. The harvest 
from 1 in every 4 acres goes abroad. 

Travel to Spain, and the eggs you 
eat for breakfast may have come from 
hens fed on American corn. Travel to 
Brazil, and the bread you eat for lunch 
may have been made from American 
wheat. Travel to Japan, and the fried 
shrimp you eat for dinner may have 
been cooked in vegetable oil from 
American soybeans. 

In nearly 125 countries, you have 
but to look and somewhere — on the 
shelves of the food shops, in the feed 
mills and flour mills and bakeries, in 
the cotton mills, even in the shoe fac- 
tories — you will find products that 
originated on American farms. 

The farmers of the United States, 
through exports, have established a 
presence in the world that is unique, 
helpful, and profitable. It is unique 
because no other nation exports such a 
variety and volume of farm products 
as we do. It is helpful because without 

our farms as an auxiliary source of 
food, millions of people in Europe, 
Latin America, Africa, and Asia either 
would have a lower standard of living 
or actually would be hungry. It is 
profitable because foreign trade is good 
business for the United States; it pro- 
vides additional markets for our fertile 
acres and additional income for our 
farm and city people. 

Our three biggest exports are wheat, 
feed grains, and soybeans. Mainly, 
although not entirely, these products 
move to foreign ports in large bulk 
shipments, and sometimes completely 
filling the holds of ships. To a lesser 
extent, they may move in processed 
form — the wheat as flour, the feed 
grains as specially formulated mixed 
feeds, and the soybeans as soybean oil 
or meal. These three have been called 
members of the Billion Dollar Export 
Club, since exports of each recently 
have been totaling more than $1 billion 
a year. 

Our country has such a diversity of 
soil and climate, however, that our 
farmers are able to produce for export 
a wide range of products besides 
wheat, feed grains, and soybeans. Last 
year's official trade listings show that 
466 different American agricultural 
items moved into foreign commerce. 
Among them, naming only a few, were 
rice, dairy products, red meats, poul- 
try, fresh and canned fruits, lard, and 
frozen foods. 

In total, the United States exports 
as much as $6 billion or more worth of 
farm products each year. Somewhat 
more than three-fourths of these ship- 
ments move as dollar-earning com- 
mercial sales; somewhat less than one 
fourth of the shipments move under 
foreign aid. 

Even though it represents the smaller 
segment of our agricultural exports, 
one of the dramatic parts of our foreign 
agricultural trade is the food aid we 
make available to the less developed 
countries. Through this program we 

Kenneth W. Olson is Director of the Foreign 
Market Information Division, Foreign Agricultural 


have helped to prevent starvation 
among millions of people and we have 
helped to build better living condi- 
tions for millions of others. 

During India's two bad drought 
years, 1965-66 and 1966-67, about a 
shipload of wheat moved daily from 
American ports to Indian ports. Some 
60 million people of India received 
most of their nourishment from this 
American grain. 

Food aid shipments are made largely 
under authority of Public Law 480, 
the Food for Peace program. Under 
this program, food reaches the needy 
in several ways — through donations, 
concessional sales in which the re- 
ceiving country pays with its own 
"soft" currency, and sales for dollars 
under long-term credit arrangements. 
Between 1954, when Public Law 480 
was enacted by the Congress, and the 
end of 1968, a total of $17^ billion 
worth of U.S. farm products moved to 
needy countries under its provisions. 

Throughout the years of Public Law 
480, however, there has been growing 
recognition that this food aid alone is 
not an adequate answer to the gnaw- 
ing question: "Can the world feed 
itself?" Two years ago an important 
addition was made to the program. 
A "self-help" stipulation was added 
which says that a developing country, 
to be eligible for our food assistance, 
must be making a determined effort to 
improve its own farm production and 
general economic status — in other 
words, must be trying seriously to get 
off the relief rolls and become self- 

Today our food aid program not 
only is helping to feed hungry people 
but is giving encouragement and sup- 
port to their own efforts to do a better 
job of feeding themselves. 

We noted earlier that the big part 
of U.S. sharing of food supplies with 
the world takes place not under aid 
but under traditional methods of sell- 

Kyoto boy enjoys his first taste of soft "ice 
cream" made of soybean products. This taste 
treat is becoming increasingly popular in 
Japan, world's No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans. 

Sharing Our Abundant Food Supplies with the World 

[Billion dollars] 

U.S. agricultural 



Year ending 

June 30 




All U.S. 



























































































































. 31.7 




Figures may not add to totals due to rounding. 




Year Ending June 30 

20 40 


Exports compared with farm sales except with production tor rice. 
hide* and skins, tallow, cotton, and tobacco. 

ing in the world market. And we noted 
that three-fourths of our agricultural 
exports move as commercial sales. An 
additional fact of which many people 
are not fully aware is that these dollar- 
earning commercial sales — averaging 
$5 billion a year during the 1966-68 
fiscal years — have become the strongest 
single contributor in easing our Na- 
tion's troublesome balance of pay- 
ments problem. 

American agriculture's positive con- 
tribution to the Nation's international 
payments position comes about be- 
cause our dollar-earning agricultural 
exports have been considerably larger 
than our dollar-costing agricultural 
imports. The difference between them, 
known as the favorable trade balance, 
has helped to offset balance of pay- 
ments deficits incurred by the non- 
agricultural part of our economy. In 
this way, American agriculture has 
contributed a net plus of about $1 
billion a year to our Nation's balance 
of payments during some recent years. 

American agriculture and foreign 
commerce are not new to each other. 
In colonial days, the pioneer farmers 
sold their tobacco, cotton, rice, jute, 
and indigo to markets in England. 
What is new about today's U.S. agri- 

cultural export flow is its size and 
diversity. Every American agricultural 
product finds part of its market abroad. 
Half or more of our production of rice, 
wheat, and hides and skins is exported. 
A third to a half of our cotton, grain 
sorghum, tallow, soybean, and tobacco 
production is exported. A fourth of our 
corn is exported. 

These large foreign markets for 
American farm products are a com- 
paratively recent development. Much 
expansion has taken place within the 
past 10 years. In fiscal year 1958, we 
exported only $4 billion worth of farm 
products. In fiscal year 1967, we ex- 
ported a record $6.8 billion worth, a 
gain of 70 percent. And the long-range 
outlook for future gains is good. 

The expanding of foreign markets 
for our farm products is one of the 
outstanding success stories of modern 
American agriculture. As every suc- 
cessful businessman knows, however, 
market expansion is not a process that 
takes place by itself. The "e" in expan- 
sion requires an additional "e" for 
effort. The effort behind this expansion 
has been in two directions. 

• Access to foreign markets. Trade 
barriers arc the bane of any exporter's 
existence. No matter how good his 

American Rice Council representative talks 
prices with Saudi Arabian sheikh, who ordered 
large quantities of U.S. rice at display in Beirut. 

product, or attractive his price, his 
selling efforts are frustrated unless the 
doors of an importing country are 
open. The United States has worked 
hard for many years — and with con- 
siderable success — to open doors and 
bring about a freer flow of agricultural 
products in international trade chan- 
nels. The Kennedy Round of trade 
negotiations was only one example of 
such efforts. Work goes on continu- 
ously to get foreign governments to 
permit our farm products to enter 
their countries and compete for sales 
to their consumers. 

• Promotion in foreign markets. With 
access to a foreign market, the exporter 
of American farm products is able to 
promote sales. This he is doing today 
more aggressively than ever before. And 
in doing it, he is given a helping hand 
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
and a large number of cooperating pri- 
vate trade and agricultural producer 

A new chapter in U.S. agricultural 
export promotion was begun when, 
somewhat more than 10 years ago, 
USDA and cooperating agricultural 
and trade groups set up a joint- venture 
foreign market development program. 
Gradually the program was expanded 
until today sales promotions are being 
carried out abroad for every major 
agricultural commodity produced in 
the United States. 

The list of countries in which the 
promotions are carried out has grown 
to 70. Much of the actual promotion 
work is done by the cooperators, and 
they use a variety of techniques: Mar- 
ket surveys, demonstrations, technical 
assistance to foreign users, advertising, 
test shipments, and many others. 

A prime means of attracting foreign 
tradespeople and consumers is through 
exhibits of U.S. farm and food products 
at international trade fairs. Since 1955, 
USDA and cooperators have sponsored 
more than 200 such "showcases" in al- 
most 40 countries. Among target cities 
have been London, Paris, Munich, 
Cologne, Brussels, and Tokyo. 

Permanent trade centers for promo- 


tion of U.S. products are maintained 
in London, Milan, and Tokyo, and 
they too help to stimulate sales. 

Another way that foreign consumers 
are being reached is through "America 
Week" U.S. food promotions in large 
department stores and in self-service 
chainstores. This type promotion in 
Tokyo in April 1968 resulted in sales 
of American foods that totaled nearly 
$1 million. 

Still another export promotion tech- 
nique is the foreign trade mission. 
Teams of specially selected marketing 
experts, representing both our Govern- 
ment and private business, from time 
to time visit countries that are active 
or potential buyers. The evaluations 
and advice they bring back provide 
important guidelines, both to exporters 
selling in the areas and to Government 
efforts to assist such sales. In similar 
fashion, teams of foreign buyers are 
brought to the United States to get 
acquainted with our producers and 
our products. 

The success we have achieved in 
foreign agricultural marketing has not 
always come easily. For the sun never 

Year Ending June 30 

(100 Million 

Data not adjusted for intransit shipments; U.S. shipments through 
Canadian ports, for example, were $79 million 

Foreign promotions of U.S. foods. 
Above left, country singer intro- 
duces West Berlin boy to American 
hamburger. Above right, "bride" 
samples U.S. food at British food 
show. Right, film star Dana An- 
drews autographs cake at U.S. food 
promotion in Spain. 


sets on the flags of our competitors. 
Wherever American farm products go, 
there also are the products of others — 
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, 
Thailand, Communist China, Den- 
mark, France, the Netherlands, South 
Africa, Argentina. 

Adding to the problems of compe- 
tition, there also is an increasing trend 
toward protectionism and self-suffi- 
ciency in some of our major markets, 
particularly those of Western Europe. 
This trend in the six countries of the 
European Economic Community al- 
ready is hurting some of our agri- 
cultural sales there, and the impact 
may be even greater in the years 
ahead of us. 

In Japan, our largest single market 
for agricultural products, there is a 
definite trend toward diversifying the 
sources of supply. That is, Japan is 
seeking to spread its buying around 
among a number of agricultural ex- 
porting countries instead of depending 
so heavily upon a single country such 
as the United States for its supplies. 

Even the developing countries are 
increasing their trade barriers against 
American farm products. In a number 

of instances they have set up special 
trading arrangements with other sup- 
pliers, thereby cutting off that much 
of their markets for our agricultural 

Though many problems lie ahead, 
however, the fact is that at this par- 
ticular period of history, our Nation 
is enjoying rewarding returns from 
its agricultural exporting operations. 
Look at a map and you will see that 
we have only a relatively small share 
of the world's land area. Yet, our 
farmers supply nearly a fifth of all the 
agricultural products that move in 
world trade. We produce abundandy 
and, mainly through trade, we now 
share and can expect to continue to 
share abundandy with a world that 
needs and welcomes our products. 

For further reading: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hand- 
book of Agricultural Charts. Agricultural Hand- 
book 359, Washington, D.C. 2025C, 1968. 

U.S. Economic Research Service, For- 
eign Agricultural Trade of the United States. U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D.C. 20250. 

U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service, For- 
eign Agriculture. U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture, Washington, D.C. 20250. 

American foods are popular in grocery stores around world. Here, shoppers examine Hawaiian 

pineapple at Tokyo supermarket. 


Quentin M. West 

The Revolution 
in Agriculture: 
New Hope for 
Many Nations 

Antonino Eldemida is a rice farmer in 
the province of San Isidro in the 
Philippines. He is a tenant on 12 acres 
of land. He is probably the first farmer 
to plant "miracle" rice. His yields 
more than doubled. He sold the new 
rice for 23 pesos ($5.90) per cavan 
(100 lbs.). He bought an acre of land 
and a tractor; he sent two children to 
college. He improved his irrigation 
system as well. 

This year there is a surplus of rice 
in the Philippines. The government 
has a lot of money in rice it bought 
last year and cannot export. It has not 
been able to support the price this 
year. Senor Eldemida only received 
1 1.5 pesos per cavan this year. He still 
makes more money than with the old 
varieties, but some of the bloom is off 
the "miracle." 

H. S. Grewal is a wheat farmer in 
the Punjab state of India. He is a 
retired army major and owns 30 acres 
of irrigated land. He adopted the new 
dwarf wheat 2 years ago. Yields in- 
creased more than 50 percent. He has 
replaced his Persian water wheel 
(operated by buffalo) with an electric 
pump. He has ordered a tractor, but 
it will take 2 to 3 years to get it. 

The Punjab has produced a surplus 
of about 2 million tons of wheat the 
past 2 years which has helped feed the 
deficit areas in India. However, it 
took a long time to move it, and there 
was not enough storage. If the mon- 
soon had not been 2 weeks late last 
summer, thousands of tons of harvested 
wheat would have been rained on. 

It is important to be clear what 
today's world agricultural revolution 
is and what it is not. It is a tremendous 
accomplishment. It is a new hope for 
developing nations. It is not a total 
solution to the hunger problem, but it 
should make substantial additions to 
food supplies in countries where there 
have been food shortages. It should 
relieve the pressures to produce or to 
import grains to provide sufficient 
quantities of food and enable these 
countries to begin to plan for better 
quality of diet, including the livestock 
products, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. 

Today's hope for hungry nations 
starts with their growing awareness 
of the necessity for agricultural im- 
provement. More of their national 
budget is being allocated to agricul- 
ture. More foreign exchange is being 
made available for fertilizer imports. 
Some governments have scrapped their 
cheap food policy and are supporting 
higher farm prices. But an important 
factor in present prospects is the new 
high-yielding varieties of wheat and 
of rice. 

Dwarf varieties of wheat, developed 
with the support of the Rockefeller 
Foundation in Mexico, are now being 
planted across South Asia and in 
North Africa. In West and South 
Asia, these improved varieties now 
cover an estimated 16 percent of the 
total wheat acreage. 

Two new tropical varieties of rice 
(IR-8 and IR-5) have been developed 
by the International Rice Research 
Institute in the Philippines, a com- 
bined Ford-Rockefeller Foundations 
venture. They have been planted on 
about 13 million hectares or about 7 

Quentin M. West is Director, Foreign Regional 
Analysis Division, Economic Research Service. 


percent of the rice land in South and 
Southeast Asia this year (1968/69). 

These new grain seeds are especially 
responsive to heavy application of fer- 
tilizer, as many old varieties are not. 
When grown under proper conditions, 
they produce yields which may double 
or more those of the old seed. A rough 
estimate, based on very limited infor- 
mation, is that the new varieties of rice 
will add about 9 percent to the total 
production of South and Southeast 
Asia in 1,968/69, compared with what 
production would have been without 
them. Wheat production in West and 
South Asia in 1968/69 may be 20 per- 
cent higher due to the new dwarf 
varieties. This is difficult to estimate 
because this year and last have seen 
good weather following 2 years of 
drought in several countries. Also, fer- 
tilizer consumption has been rising 
sharply and grain acreage has gone up. 

Several factors will impede expan- 
sion of the new varieties. They are new 
to the regions where they are being 
introduced and may become suscep- 
tible to local diseases and insects. Plant 
protection services are primitive in 
most of these countries. Without large 
investments in irrigation facilities, the 
potential of these new seeds will not be 
realized. Since the new rice matures 
early, during the latter part of the 
wet season, drying facilities must be 

Also, priorities given to agriculture 
could weaken as the food crisis of the 
past few years abates. Farm prices 
could fall and reduce farmers' incen- 
tives. If internal marketing and dis- 
tribution facilities are not improved, 
increased food supplies may not reach 
the people who need them. Also, as 
countries begin to produce a surplus 
over their effective domestic demand, 
problems of finding export markets at 
satisfactory prices soon develop. 

From our own history, however, we 
know that the path of agricultural de- 
velopment is not always smooth. It 
would be too much to expect unruffled 
progress in the developing countries. 
The important thing is that agricul- 
tural development has gotten off dead- 


center and is moving. With hope, we 
can expect the progress to be greater 
than the problems. 

World Food Situation 

What is the size and scope and his- 
tory of today's world food problem? 
Where is it centered? And what are 
we of the United States doing to help 
to solve it? 

Opinions on the magnitude of the 
world food problem have often swung 
between extremes of pessimism and 
optimism. In the late 1940's, consid- 
erable concern existed about world 
food shortages. Fears lessened as sur- 
pluses accumulated in the early 1950's. 
However, by the mid-1950's, supply 
management and food aid programs 
began to reduce the large U.S. reserves. 
Then in 1966, there was a rapid draw- 
down of world grain stocks and an 
increase in grain prices largely as a 
result of expanded imports by India 
and the Soviet Union. India had 2 
successive years of drought, and the 
Soviet Union had two crop failures 
in 3 years. 

These events were taken by many 
as evidence that the world food prob- 
lem was worsening, and again raised 
the question whether there would be 
sufficient food in the future to supply 
the rapidly growing world population 
at acceptable levels of nutrition. 

In 1967, the situation was somewhat 
different. Record grain crops had been 
produced in the Soviet Union, Canada, 
and Australia (1966/67). India har- 
vested almost 100 million tons of food 
grain (1967/68), compared with 73 
and 78 million in the previous 2 years. 
Western Europe and South Africa also 
had record grain crops. Crop produc- 
tion gains in 1967 were especially 
marked in the less-developed countries 
of the free world. Per capita food out- 
put increased by about 5 to 6 percent, 
a recovery to the previous record level 
of 1964 or slightly above. 

Record crops in the developing 
countries in 1967 and the successes 
of the new high-yielding varieties of 
wheat and rice have led many to be 

more optimistic about development 
possibilities in these countries. They 
feel that the new grain varieties, plus 
a whole new agricultural technology 
involving large fertilizer applications, 
irrigation, and double (or even triple) 
cropping can revolutionize agriculture 
and food production in many of the 
developing nations. 

Food production again increased in 
the developing countries in 1968 but 
only at the same pace as population. 
Per capita production remained at 
practically the same level as in 1967. 

It is hard to determine with any 
degree of accuracy the current food 
situation in the developing countries 
and project how it will change in the 
future. Statistics do not exist, or at 
the best are rough estimates, in many 
nations for even the most basic ele- 
ments of population, production, and 
trade. Weather may cause fluctuations 
in agricultural production as great as 
25 percent and obscure other changes. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture 
is doing research on the world food 
problem because it is essential to our 
programs for food aid, agricultural 
trade, and domestic production to 
have the best estimates possible of 
developments in these countries. The 
major reports on this research are The 
World Food Budget, WO, (FAER 19), 
and World Food Situation; Prospects for 
World Grain Production, Consumption, 
and Trade (FAER 35). Some highlights 
of these studies follow. 

The Food Gap 

Probably two-thirds of the world's 
people live in countries with nutrition- 
ally inadequate national average diets. 
The diet-deficit areas include all of 
Asia except Japan and Israel, all but 
the southern tip of Africa, and most of 
South and of Central America. The 
calorie level of the diets of people in 
these less-developed countries averages 
about three-fourths that of people liv- 
ing in developed countries, and is 
150 to 200 calories below the minimum 
standard of 2,400 calories required for 
normal activity and health. 

Consumption of about 40 pounds 
additional grain per person annually 
would be required to meet this calorie 
deficit. The total additional grain 
required for the free world developing 
countries would amount to about 25 
million metric tons of grain, or about 
10 percent of their present production 
of grains. Almost two-thirds of this 
requirement is in four major food-aid 
countries — India, Pakistan, Indonesia, 
and Egypt, with over 45 percent in 
India alone. 

There is also a deficiency of protein 
in most of the developing countries. 
Daily consumption of protein by the 
people in these countries averaged 
less than two-thirds of the level in 
the developed nations. 

Food production has been increas- 
ing at a slightly faster rate in the 
developing countries than in the 
developed countries, but the per capita 
trend in developing countries has been 
slowed by a high rate of population 
growth. Annual population growth 
has reached 2% to 3 percent in many 
developing countries, as widespread 
application of medical technology and 
improved food supplies have reduced 
death rates. 

An important aspect of the world 
food problem is to bring birth rates 
into balance, and some progress is 
being made in this effort. The most 
encouraging signs come from Chile, 
Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and 
Trinidad, where birth rates have fallen 
so fast that the number of babies born 
in 1966 was less than in 1960. Fairly 
clear signs of a decline in the crude 
birth rate are now reported from 
Ceylon, West Malaysia, Jamaica, and 
Costa Rica. 

Over the past two decades, food 
production per capita has increased 
in the developing countries at an an- 
nual rate of only about one-third of 1 
percent, whereas food consumption 
has been increasing at almost one-half 
of 1 percent per capita. 

The gap between production and 
consumption has been made up by 
increased food imports from the de- 
veloped countries. Food imports by 


the developing countries have been 
mostly grain to increase calorie intake. 

Before World War II, the free world 
developing countries (excluding the 
grain exporters — Argentina, Mexico, 
Burma, Thailand, Cambodia) were 
net importers of only 2.3 million tons 
of grain. But for the past few years 
they have imported nearly 30 million 
tons annually. More than one-fourth 
of this has gone to India. 

What have been the forces responsi- 
ble for this gap between production 
and consumption in emerging nations? 

Higher Levels of Living — Before World 
War II, there was little concern about 
the welfare of people in the developing 
countries. The great mass of people 
in these areas subsisted as they had for 
centuries, at the hunger margin; this 
was more or less a fact of life. 

Since then, 66 of these developing 
countries have become independent. 
Almost without exception, they have 
immediately embarked on a program 
of economic development. These have 
had varied success, but in general they 
have brought about some improve- 
ment in the per capita income; 1 to 2 
percent annually. With rising incomes, 
people demand more food. They also 

desire higher quality food which re- 
quires greater agricultural resources 
for their production. 

As incomes rise, if increased supplies 
are not available, food prices go up, 
and the poorer people — whose ability 
to buy has not improved — can obtain 
even less food. Because of the great 
importance of food prices to a large 
majority of the population, sharp rises 
in prices are likely to have political 
repercussions. Under such circum- 
stances there are strong pressures to 
expand food imports. With food aid 
available, this expansion has been 
possible without diverting scarce for- 
eign exchange resources. 

Urbanization — The impact of popu- 
lation on food supplies in the develop- 
ing countries is accentuated by the 
concentration of people in cities. The 
extremely rapid growth of urban pop- 
ulation compounds the problem be- 
cause it imposes the difficult task of 
improving the distribution system so 
food can be moved from producing 
areas to urban areas. 

To accomplish this task, incentives 
must be used to bring farmers into the 
commercial economy. Not only must 
there be an increase in production of 

Seed testing laboratory in India, left. Right, Bolivian woman compares small native potato with 
improved variety now grown with help of Alliance for Progress program. 

food, but marketing facilities must be 
built to transport, store, process, and 
distribute the farm products. When 
this task is not accomplished, urban 
centers have to rely on imports for 
much of their food supplies. 

Availability of Food Aid — The United 
States has long shown a great concern 
for the hungry people of the world. 
Immediately after World War II, agri- 
cultural aid programs were instituted 
to supply food to war-torn areas of 
Europe. In the early 1950's, following 
a severe drought in India and Pakistan, 
special wheat loans were made to these 

During the 1950's, American farm 
output increased much faster than did 
consumption, and surpluses of several 
agricultural products began to build 
up. In an effort to dispose of these 
surpluses and at the same time give 
foreign countries an opportunity to ob- 
tain agricultural products which their 
limited foreign exchange would not 
permit them to buy, Congress in 1954 
enacted Public Law 480: "To increase 
the consumption of U.S. agricultural 
commodities in foreign countries." 
Since that time, the United States has 
shipped over 135 million metric tons 

of wheat and about 40 million tons of 
other grains under this program. 

This U.S. food production capacity 
and the large accumulation of U.S. 
grain stocks has made it possible for 
the developing countries to expand 
their consumption faster than their 
production over the past decade. 

Should We Feed the World? 

The policy of the United States is 
to encourage and assist the developing 
nations of the free world to develop 
economically and improve their own 
food production so they will become 
less dependent on food aid. A sig- 
nificant feature of the Food for Free- 
dom program is the requirement of 
self-help efforts to accelerate food pro- 
duction within the food-deficit coun- 
tries themselves. 

Food aid probably will continue to 
be needed for the next decade. But 
dependence on food aid should dimin- 
ish as these countries accelerate agri- 
cultural development and economic 
growth to the point where they can 
produce or commercially import their 
food requirements. 

If the developing countries raise 

India extension guide estimates size of corn raised by farmer at right, who achieved highest 

yield in his area. 

their rate of increase in agricultural 
production to 4 percent annually — a 
rate already reached by a few coun- 
tries — they would be achieving a high 
enough rate of growth in food pro- 
duction to provide minimum adequate 
calorie levels for their people by 1980 
and break their dependence on food 
aid. However, this would require 
unprecedented increases in resource 
commitment to agricultural develop- 
ment. It would require massive efforts 
by developing nations and consider- 
able assistance by developed countries. 
National leaders have emphasized 
that "hunger is a world problem. It 
must be dealt with by the world." 
They have called for a "truly interna- 
tional effort to combat hunger and to 
modernize agriculture." The Food for 
Freedom Act affirms the "sense of 
Congress that the President should 
encourage other advanced nations to 

make increased contributions for the 
purpose of combating world hunger 
and malnutrition, particularly through 
the expansion of international food and 
agricultural assistance programs." The 
Food Aid Convention under the Inter- 
national Grains Arrangement of 1967 
is a step in this direction. 

Although faster progress is needed 
among developing countries, there is 
no immediate likelihood of a world 
food shortage. It is estimated that the 
production capacity in the developed 
nations will be more than ample to 
meet import needs of the developing 
nations in the foreseeable future. In 
fact, even if there were no improvement 
in the rate of agricultural development 
in developing countries and their grain 
import requirements doubled over the 
next decade, the developed countries 
would still possess some excess grain 
production capacity. 

South Vietnam boy with American Sugar Baby watermelon grown In his country under the U.S. 

aid program. 

Rex F. Daly 

Food Enough 
for the U.S.? 
A Crystal Ball 
Look Ahead 

Chances are small indeed that you 
or I will live to see famine conditions 
in the United States. Many of us may 
eat poorly by habit; a few of us may 
be hungry at times. But food has been, 
and will very likely remain, relatively 
abundant for most of us during our 

The very word "future" intrigues 
us. And properly so, for everybody 
has a vital interest in the subject. 
The future is where we will live, work, 
and play. Our interest is genuine ; 
and our actions in the days, months, 
and years ahead will determine to 
a considerable extent the kind of 
21st century we will have. If we are 
able to be more than passive agents 
in the overall scheme of things, well 
thought out plans and goals will form 
a rational bridge between our present 
and our future. 

It is a risky business, at best, to 
try to predict the future, and of 
course, we can't presume to do so 
with any great degree of accuracy. 
Projections should not be considered 
an attempt to anticipate some in- 
evitable unraveling of coming decades. 
Rather, they should be thought of as 
a sketch of the future, as tools to 

help us to anticipate changes, possible 
imbalances in supplies, and other 
likely problems. A chart of the future 
may turn out to be a red flag that 
warns us of undesirable consequences 
if current trends or policies are con- 
tinued. Or, it may be a goal or blue- 
print for future actions. 

In general, long-term prospects for 
plentiful supplies of food, while favor- 
able to us, are by no means assured. 
And for most of the remaining world, 
the prospects are hopeful but not 
optimistic because of the continuing 
population-food imbalance. Food in 
our future will depend on the outcome 
of the race between domestic and for- 
eign demand and our potential for 
producing food in the United States. 
So as a prelude to what the future 
may hold for us, let's take a look at 
our past and present achievements, 
policies, and problems. 

Food production is an economic 
process in which the farmer brings 
together resources to produce food. 
Accordingly, he is interested in de- 
mand for his products backed with 
buying power. He likes to grow things, 
but he also must make money to stay 
in business. 

Production is an economic process 
because it depends upon the cost of 
resources, demands for food, and the 
prices these will bring. But it is partly 
physical in the sense that it depends 
on natural resources and the state of 
technology. Thus our food supplies 
depend, in part, on how hard and in 
what way we as a society wish to push 
to increase them. 

Larger quantities of most crops 
could be produced now, but this would 
be a costly and unprofitable venture. 
Similarly, if we ever chose — or were 
forced — to have a "no meat" diet, 
our current production capacity would 
feed four or five times as many people 
as it does. Feeding animals to furnish 
us with meat is less efficient than 
direct use of crops for food. 

Rex F. Daly is Director of Ike Economic and 
Statistical Analysis Division, of the Economic 
Research Service. 


In the past, our supplies of food 
have been large enough to depress 
farm prices and incomes. In the last 
three decades, farm production has 
increased nearly 80 percent. This was 
accomplished using fewer acres, fewer 
farmworkers, more mechanical power, 
more fertilizer, and gready improved 
"know-how." These bumper crops 
and the huge carryover stocks have 
spawned programs designed to ex- 
pand our markets for food and to 
limit production. 

Our U.S. agriculture is in an ex- 
cellent position to provide us with 
what we need as well as to help people 
in other nations. In addition to the 
millions of acres currently being 
withheld from production, there are 
millions more which are suitable for 
farming. At present, however, it would 
require either higher farm prices or 
more public expenditures to make 
this worthwhile to farmers. 

Higher farm prices, and higher re- 
turns to farmers would also step up the 
use, if not the tempo, of technological 
developments. Research in breeding is 
resulting in more productive hybrid 
seeds, better disease and insect con- 
trols, and genetic modifications such 
as high-protein corn. Similar research 
on livestock is resulting in vigorous 
crossbreeds, multiple births, improved 
use of feed, and meatier cuts. 

In addition to the ordinary means 
of expanding our food supplies, syn- 
thetics are indirectly serving the same 
purpose. These have cut into usual 
markets for such foods as sugar, fruit 
juices, and several protein foods. 

Another recent development with an 
impact on supplies similar to that of 
synthetics is the current substitution 
of lower priced farm foods for milk 
products, meat protein, and animal 
fats. This kind of substitution may af- 
fect potential food supplies even more 
than synthetics. For example, the con- 
sumption of dairy products would be 
about 50 percent larger than it is if the 
industry still had its prewar markets 
for butter, cream, and some of the 
other high-fat products. 

The primary reason for shifts to 


crop products is that they are usually 
cheaper and require fewer resources 
than animal products. About a third 
of our calories now come from animal 
products. To produce these 1,100 cal- 
ories, animals require more than 10,000 
calories, some of which come from 
products which could be used direcdy 
for food. 

The world could support many times 
its present population if the photosyn- 
thetic process could be more fully used. 
This is the process which transforms 
carbon dioxide from air and water 
into energy. Though we now use a 
very small proportion of annual photo- 
synthetic output for food and feed, it 
has great potential. The leaves of many 
plants are substantial sources of energy 
and protein. And, the chlorophyll- 
bearing algae of the sea are reported 
to be around 100 times more efficient 
than corn in the use of solar energy. 
The day will surely come when we 
will better understand the "miracle of 
the green plant" and, perhaps, be able 
to make more efficient use of this re- 
ceiving set for solar energy. 

All these are rather rosy possibilities 
for our food supplies in the next few 
decades. Nevertheless, there are some 
gnawing uncertainties about how we 
can resolve — not only the publicized 
world food-population race — but also 
two other questions. One of these re- 
lates to the longer run potential for 
productivity and yields in agriculture; 
the other considers results of imbal- 
ances being created by erosion, waste, 
and pollution. 

Charting longer run productivity is 
difficult. With the moon within reach, 
there's a great temptation to be opti- 
mistic in all assessments. Also, in the 
past we have usually understated long- 
run technological possibilities and pro- 
ductivity. Even so, we should not let 
this tendency to be conservative blind 
us to some of the constraining factors 
that may be with us. 

The revolutionary advances in out- 
put per man-hour in agriculture, about 
double the productivity gains in the 
nonfarm sector, are in part a fiction. 
A rapid decline in number of farms is 

due to combining several smaller, and 
often less efficient, units into larger 
and more efficient units. The result is 
a sharper rise in productivity for agri- 
culture as a whole than for individual 
farms or size groups. If the size struc- 
ture of agriculture continues evolving 
into an industry of fewer and larger 
optimum-size farms, does not this 
imply some slowing in the growth of 

Questions about waste and pollu- 
tion demand answers, for they bear on 
our food supply potential. In recent 
years, a growing body of evidence sug- 
gests that, along with industry and 
huge population concentrations, agri- 
culture is contributing to the wastes 
and pollution of our soil, water, and 
air. The dimensions of these problems 
are not known, but the private and 
social costs of correcting them are ex- 
pected to be immense. The potential 
threat to our future supplies of food 
is clear. 

Most large rivers and lakes are 
polluted with wastes and sediment. 
Appraisals of Lake Erie read almost 
like an obituary. Possibly a similar 
fate lies ahead for Lake Michigan. 
Its basin States recendy signed an 
agreement to protect the environment 
of the lake. Such pollution problems 
go ". . . beyond the development of 
new technology; beyond sophisticated 
analyses of benefits and costs in the 
economic arena; and beyond the 
police power of legislation." 

The U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture's 1967 report on pesticides and 
related activities attests to the magni- 
tude of the problem and the concern 
about contamination. Random re- 
search tides indicate the nature of 
current questions such as management 
and removal of pesticides from food; 
contamination of soil and of runoff 
water; and the effects of feeding con- 
taminated forage. 

Some biologists are alarmed over 
the heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers. 
Because of their relatively low prices, 
these have been replacing the use of 
animal manures. Apparently, the in- 
creasingly massive use of high-nitrogen 

fertilizers has forced considerable 
amounts into the air and runoff water. 
This added emphasis on the use of 
inorganic nitrogen may also contribute 
some toxicity to feeds and other crops 
used for food. 

A recent USDA report states that a 
serious consequence of contaminations 
by insecticides is that, through the 
"food chains" from plants to animals 
to man, residues may progressively 
accumulate to higher levels. 

As fertilizers, insecticides, and other 
chemicals form a vital link in our 
capacity to produce food, solutions to 
the problem of contamination may 
have to come from greater biological 
controls over disease and insects, by 
the using of new and possibly safer 
chemicals, and, possibly, by reduced 
applications. Solutions may increase 
production costs and slow the present 
upward trend in yields. As a result, 
during the next quarter century we 
may not be able to plan with complete 
certainty on ample supplies of rela- 
tively low-priced food. Our research 
programs and plans must continue 
on the side of caution because the 
costs of being too optimistic could be 

What kind and how much food we 
will be eating after the turn of the 
century will depend on many factors. 
Important among these is the rate of 
increase in world population. Our 
postwar program, which reduced dis- 
ease, insects, and malnutrition in the 
less developed countries, sharply re- 
duced death rates and contributed to a 
worldwide population upsurge. In the 
first two-thirds of this century, world 
population more than doubled to 
around Z% billion people. If recent 
growth rates continue, it will double 
again by the end of this century. 

The United Nations recendy re- 
ported an annual growth in population 
of between 2 and 3% percent in the less 
developed parts of the world, which 
now includes three-fourths of the 
earth's inhabitants. Annual growth 
rates for Europe, North America, and 
the Soviet Union ranged from 0.8 per- 
cent to about 1.25 percent. To put 


these in perspective: At a 2-percent 
growth rate, population will double in 
35 years; at a 3-percent-a-year rate, it 
will double in less than 24 years. The 
rapidly growing regions harbor most 
of the hunger and malnutrition, and 
some of these areas are not well en- 
dowed with natural resources. As a 
result of rapid growth in population, 
fewer working-age people must provide 
for, and train, many more of the young 
people if these areas are to assume a 
viable role in tomorrow's world. 

The implications of unrestricted pop- 
ulation growth are not generally un- 
derstood. Any population growth rate, 
if sustained, will ultimately push world 
population to an unacceptable level. 
Though it will never arrive at a "stand- 
ing room only" crowd, uninterrupted 
growth does imply this or a somewhat 
less but still unpleasant fate. Birth 
rates needed for a stable population 
depend on average life expectancy. If 
we want an average life expectancy of 
60 years and a stable population, both 
birth and death rates would have to 
average around 17 per 1,000 people or 
about the present U.S. birth rate. Un- 
controlled births probably average 
around 40 to 50 per 1,000 people. 

Attitudes toward population plan- 
ning are tied up with religion, folklore, 
and politics, and many nations see pop- 
ulation controls as weakening their vi- 
tality and political influence. Despite 
all the publicity regarding the need for 
world population control, this problem 
may remain the critical barrier to right- 
ing the population-resource equation 
in much of the world. 

In the years ahead, economic growth 
in the United States and the world will 
increase consumer buying power. This 
will accelerate the demand for food in 
the less developed regions of the world. 
On the other hand, in the United States 
and other high-income nations, rising 
incomes may have less impact on per 
capita food use than in the past. 

In general, some current and persist- 
ent trends in U.S. diets will moderate 
due to changes in prices, inroads of 
substitute products, and, perhaps, to 
health considerations. Whether due to 


any or all of these factors, it doesn't 
seem realistic to expect a continuation 
of past big gains in per capita use of 
beef and poultry meat. Similarly, the 
current downward trend in per capita 
use of grains and animal fats may be 

Synthetic foods and substitute vege- 
table proteins and oils will become 
more widely used in place of animal 
proteins and fats. Laws, controls, and 
other institutional barriers probably 
will be overcome, much as they were 
for the margarine versus butter con- 
troversy. Even so, there is no reason to 
expect a revolutionary change in our 
diets unless the world population is un- 
checked, or there is a slower rise than 
is expected in the U.S. food supplies. 
If, for example, we were forced back 
to the type of meals we ate in 1930 
because of tight demand-supply bal- 
ance and high prices, per capita de- 
mand and need for food production 
resources would drop about 7 percent. 
This would reduce per capita demand 
for livestock products by 16 percent 
and raise the use of crops by about 10 

Despite impacts of the problems al- 
ready described — unrestricted growth 
of population, increased waste and 
pollution, and the possibility of slower 
productivity advances in agriculture — 
some qualitative views will be pre- 
sented about supply and price pros- 
pects for food. These projections should 
be looked on as largely illustrative. 

Population in the United States will 
continue to grow. The sharp decline in 
birth rates since 1955 has slowed popu- 
lation growth to about 1 percent per 
year. However, these birth rates are 
expected to increase during the next 
several years as a rising number of 
women reach the most fertile child- 
bearing ages. 

The Census Bureau projects four 
levels of birth rate, with the next-to- 
the-lowest of the levels projecting 
around 308 million people by the year 
2000 compared to around 200 million 
today. This is considered a reasonable 
projection, and represents an annual 
population growth of 1.3 percent, the 

same as the past 3}£ decades. The 
next highest level projects 336 million 
people, and this may be entirely as 

During the next 30 to 40 years, the 
economy is expected to grow somewhat 
faster than during recent years. Pro- 
jections of the labor force, hours 
worked, and production per man-hour 
for the year 2000 indicate a potential 
gross national product nearly four 
times the 1964-66 average. Consumer 
buying power will grow more rapidly 
than the 2 percent per year rate during 
the past 2>% decades. 

tion of grain products will continue to 
decline, but at a slower rate than in 
the past. 

It is likely that, in the upcoming 
decades, exports of farm products 
will continue to be the most expanding 
part of the total demand for U.S. 
farm products. This, of course, is 
based upon the assumption that our 
agriculture will continue to have an 
excess capacity to produce. The 
economic, social, and political forces 
which can affect exports are difficult 
to identify and virtually impossible 
to measure. 

Probe used to get wheat sample from railroad car of grain in Ohio, first step in grading wheat. 

In our expanding economy, most of 
us will be able to buy the foods we 
want. Though advances in food prices 
would have little effect on how much 
food each of us eats, changes in the 
prices of individual items may alter 
the foods in our diet. Since income and 
price may have progressively less effect 
on what we buy, we might reasonably 
sketch a diet for the 1980 decade. It 
will include even more red meat — 
particularly beef, more poultry, and 
more processed fruits and vegetables. 
The projected diet includes about the 
same amount of pork, less milk, fewer 
eggs, and a smaller amount of animal 
fats such as butter and lard. Consump- 

To illustrate what could happen 
to farm prices, incomes, expenditures 
for food, and resource requirements, 
we can assume two levels of future 
exports. The first projects the volume 
of crop exports in the year 2000 to 
nearly five times what they were in 
1964—66. This would be equivalent 
to more than 40 percent of total crop 
production, compared with 22 per- 
cent in 1964—66. 

The second assumption projects 
crop exports by the year 2000 at about 
three times the 1964-66 volume. That 
would equal about 30 percent of 
projected crop output. This latter 
and less optimistic projection would 


Food Consumption Trends 

Average per person, per year 

Commodity Unit 1929-1931 1949-1951 1964-1966 Projected 

Red meat (carcass weight) lb. 130 142 171 192 

Poultry (ready-to-cook) lb. 16 25 41 60 

Eggs doz. 28 32 26 24 

Nfilk (milk equivalent) qt. 383 339 287 245 

Food fats and oils (fat basis) lb. 45 44 48 47 

Fruits, vegetables and potatoes (fresh farm 

weight) lb. 502 517 489 520 

Grains (farm weight) lb. 339 257 230 215 

suggest little change in prices assum- 
ing the full use of land now available 
for crops. The higher export projection 
would resultj to start with, in sharply 
higher prices until additional acreage 
and other resources could be drawn 
into production. Adding another 100 
million acres would increase produc- 
tion and moderate the price increases. 
There is, of course, no way to judge 
how much additional land and other 
resources would come into produc- 
tion. And, there is litde basis for esti- 
mating how productive these new 
resources would be. But we can mull 
over some probable consequences. 

Farm prices projected under the 
more modest export projection would 
average about 10 percent below those 
resulting from the higher one. Lower 
crop prices would reduce feed costs, 
increase use of feed, and step up pro- 
duction of livestock products. Also as 
a result of lower prices, domestic food 
use of both crops and livestock prod- 
ucts would be a little more than if a 
larger share were exported. However, 
moderately higher prices probably 
would not greatly alter the U.S. diet 
that is sketched above unless there 
were large price differences among 
important foods. 

If we can avoid big increases in 
demand or a marked slowing in food 
production, food bills will take a still 
smaller share of our incomes (after 
taxes). If food prices increase at about 
the same rate as those of other goods, 
as they have over the last 3% decades, 
expenditures for food will have to 
shrink as a share of consumer income. 
The decline is an inevitable conse- 
quence when food expenditures go 
up at a slower rate than incomes. 


By the year 2000, the percentage 
of income spent for food might be 
down by four or five points from the 
17.3 percent in 1968. However, in- 
creased demand or slower gains in 
production could slow, halt, or even 
reverse the downward trend in the 
percentage of income spent for food. 

Farm production in the year 2000 
is projected to a level about double 
what it was in 1964-66. This will be 
accomplished with around half the 
work force, somewhat more land, and 
possibly two to three times the volume 
of nonfarm resources that were used 
in the midsixties. 

The number of farms are expected 
to continue to decline in response to 
gains in efficiency and farm consoli- 
dation. A continuation of this trend 
would suggest around 1 % million farms 
by 2000. Perhaps less than half these 
farms would account for the commer- 
cial output of agriculture. Certainly 
changes in number and size now un- 
derway and in prospect for agriculture, 
along with technical advances, point 
to fewer, larger, and more efficient 
commercial farm units. 

This discussion was started by as- 
serting that the possibility of famine 
in the United States was very remote, 
and it should end on this note as well. 
At the same time, however, uncer- 
tainty does exist about the potential 
of our food production capacity and 
about our role in the outcome of the 
world population-food race. 

In planning for the future, the costs 
of being too optimistic are great in- 
deed. The stakes are high, not only in 
dollars but also in terms of adequacy 
and purity of our food, our health, 
and perhaps our vitality as a Nation. 

Olive M. Batcher 
Charles E. Murphey 

Ail About Meat, 
That Key Item 
in Food Buying, 
Meal Planning 

Very few people realize that there are 
enough different kinds and cuts of 
meat available in today's supermarkets 
so a homemaker could prepare a dif- 
ferent meat dish for her family every 
day of the year. This variety should 
make meat buying and meal planning 
a real pleasure. 

Since meat commands a large share 
of today's food dollar, the consumer 
should know as much as possible about 
its selection and preparation. 

As assurance to consumers that their 
meat is wholesome, all meat and meat 
products prepared in plants which 
make shipments into other States must 
be federally inspected. This assures 
us that the meat comes from healthy 
animals, is processed under sanitary 
conditions, is properly labeled and 
packaged, and it is not adulterated 
or contaminated. A round stamp 
identifies meat which has passed this 

Although meat and meat products 
from plants that do not ship out-of- 
State usually will not be federally in- 
spected, many States and municipali- 
ties have their own inspection systems. 
However, under the Federal Whole- 


some Meat Act of 1967, each State 
must provide, by 1970 at the latest, 
inspection equal to Federal inspection 
for plants which sell meat solely within 
the State. If this isn't done, these 
plants will become subject to Federal 

In this country, "meat" means the 
"red meats" or those produced from 
cattle, sheep, and hogs. Our beef, 
calf, and veal are all produced from 
cattle — they differ in the maturity of 
the animal from which they are pro- 
duced. Veal comes from very young 
animals — usually 3 months of age or 
younger. It has a grayish pink lean 
which is very smooth and velvety and 
it usually has very little fat. Veal is 
prized for its delicate flavor. Calf is 
produced from slightly older ani- 
mals — usually 3 to 8 months of age. 
Its lean is grayish red in color, fine 
in texture, and mild in flavor. 

Beef is from still more mature 
animals. Most beef sold as cuts in 
retail stores is from animals 15 to 30 
months of age. Most of the beef from 
the older animals is used for making 
processed products like frankfurters, 
bologna, and luncheon meats. Fresh 
beef is available at all times in every 
section of the United States. 

Lamb is meat from young sheep 
usually less than a year old. Tender, 
juicy, and flavorful lamb is available 
throughout the year. Meat from older 
sheep is called mutton, but very little 
of this is sold as fresh meat in retail 

Pork, mostly produced from young 
hogs, is always available in quantity. 
Although the total fat content of some 
pork cuts may be higher than for most 
other meats—depending upon how it 
is trimmed — the lean of pork is not any 
higher in fat than is beef. 

Success in preparation of all meat 
dishes — the concern of every cook — 
begins with selection of the meat. One 

Olive M. Batcher is a Research Food Tech- 
nologist, in the Human Nutrition Research Division, 
Agricultural Research Service. 

Charles E. Murphey is Assistant Chief, Stand- 
ardization Branch, Livestock Division, Consumer 
and Marketing Service. 







of the more important factors affect- 
ing the desirability of meat is the 
portion of the animal from which it 
came — the lean meat in some parts is 
naturally more tender and palatable 
than in others. Also, cuts from various 
parts differ in the number and size 
of muscles and in the amount and 
location of bone. Cuts with only one 
or two muscles, and which do not 
contain any bones that interfere with 
carving, are more attractive and con- 
venient to serve. 

There are no Federal or other laws 
or regulations which relate to the 
names of meat cuts prepared in retail 
markets. However, the names of most 
of the more popular cuts have become 
fairly well standardized. But in the 
case of the less popular cuts, different 
names — many of which are not really 
descriptive — are frequendy applied to 
the same cut. 

The muscles and bones of all our 
meat animals and the relative desira- 
bility of cuts from the various parts are 
quite similar. This simplifies learning 
how to recognize cuts and how to use 
them to best advantage. Names of cuts 
frequendy reflect the name of a portion 
of the carcass or the shape or name of 
a bone. 

In general, cuts from along the back 
of the animal are naturally the most 
tender and palatable. They include the 
"ribeye" or "loineye" muscle — the 
largest muscle in the animal and also 
one of the most desirable. 

Cuts from the back between the hip 
bone and the last rib contain the famil- 
iar T-shaped bone and two major 
muscles. The larger muscle is the loin- 

eye and the smaller one is the tender- 
loin. These are separated by the 
upright portion of the "T" shaped 
bone. In pork and lamb, this portion 
usually is made into center-cut loin 
chops. In beef, it is nearly always used 
for steak. When prepared "bone-in," 
these are referred to as porterhouse, 
T-bone, or club steaks. 

In porterhouse steaks the tenderloin 
is large, in the T-bone it is intermedi- 
ate in size, and club steaks contain, at 
most, only a very small portion of 
tenderloin. Retailers leave varying 
amounts of "tail" or flank meat on 
these steaks. This is definitely less de- 
sirable than the rest of the steak. If 
this flank portion has not been re- 
moved, the steak should be priced 
cheaper. When the bone is removed 
from this section, steaks from the loin- 
eye muscle are called strip steaks. 

The tenderloin usually is made into 
filet mignon or tenderloin steaks. How- 
ever, the tenderloin is sometimes made 
into portions several inches in length to 
serve two or more. Such a cut is fre- 
quendy called "chateaubriand." 

In the section of the back which 
contains ribs, the bone structure in- 
cludes the thin backbone vertebrae 
and a short section of attached rib 
bones. In beef, this section usually is 
made into roasts. When the bones 
are not removed, it is the ever-popular 
standing rib roast. These usually are 
further identified as 5-inch, 7-inch, 
or 10-inch cuts to reflect differing 
amounts of rib ends or short ribs left 
on the cut. If the bones are removed 
it becomes a boneless rib roast. 

The large, ribeye muscle together 
with a few small, firmly attached 
muscles are sometimes removed and 
sold as a roast — the ribeye roll — or as 
ribeye or delmonico steaks. Many 
consider this the premier cut of beef. 

In lamb and pork this rib section 
usually is made into rib chops or rib 
roasts. The crown roast of pork or 
lamb is fashioned from two such rib 
sections. In pork, when the large rib- 
eye muscle is removed and cured and 
smoked it is Canadian style bacon. 

Immediately below (as the animal 


Wholesale Cuts of Beef and Their Bone Structure 


Loin sirloin 

il Cuts of Beef and Where They Come From 

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stands) these two back sections are 
thinner portions which, except for 
pork, are much less desirable. In 
pork, this is where bacon and spare- 
ribs originate. In beef, these portions 
are made into a variety of cuts — ground 
beef, beef stew, short ribs, beef bacon, 
and corned beef. (Corned beef is 
cured similar to pork but it is not 
smoked.) The flank steak also orig- 
inates in this section. In lamb, these 
portions are normally sold for stewing 
or as ground lamb. 

In the region which contains the 
hip bone, the muscles are highly 
desirable — large and tender. In beef, 
this portion usually is made into 
sirloin steaks. In lamb it is included 
as a part of the leg or sold as sirloin 
chops. In pork it is made into a loin 
end roast or into sirloin chops. The 
hip bone is quite variable in size and 
shape. In beef, the back bones are 
frequendy removed, especially from 
steaks in which the hip bone is large. 

The hind leg portion — round in 
beef, ham in pork, and leg in lamb) — 
also contains large muscles and the 
main part of this portion includes 
only a small round bone. In beef, the 
round is made into rump roasts and 
round steaks or roasts. Because of its 
size, the main part of the beef round 
frequendy is separated into its three 
major sections — the top round, bottom 
round, and round tip or knuckle. The 
bottom section contains two parts of 
which the "eye of the round" is more 
desirable. When the eye of round is 
sold separately, the remaining portion 
is still referred to as bottom round. 

In pork, the ham is merchandised 
whole, separated into butt and shank 
halves, or made into a center cut 
roast or center slices and the remainder 
sold as butt and shank ends. The 
center cuts contain only the small 
round leg bone. In lamb, the leg may 
be sold in one piece or made into butt 
and shank halves. When sold in one 
piece but with a small end of the 
shank meat removed, it is a " Frenched" 
leg. When the shank bone is removed 
but the shank meat is not, it is an 
"American" leg. 

There is considerable variation in 
the way cuts are made from the fore- 
part of meat animals and in the 
names given these cuts. In lamb, the 
fore shank is sold as such — and one 
shank makes a generous serving. In 
beef, the shank usually is made into 
ground beef. To the inside of the 
shank on beef is the brisket — and in 
lamb, the breast. Beef brisket is the 
cut which is most frequendy made 
into corned beef. When purchasing 
corned beef it should be remembered 
that, as a result of the curing process, 
it may have some added moisture. 
Corned briskets produced in federally 
inspected plants may weigh up to 20 
percent more than their uncured 
weight, but the other corned cuts are 
limited to an increase in weight of 
10 percent. 

Immediately above the shank and 
the brisket or breast is the chuck 
(beef) or shoulder (lamb). Rib and 
back bones are located on the inside 
of these cuts and the arm bone and 
shoulder blade are nearly in the cen- 
ter. This portion contains a large 
number of relatively small (thin) 
muscles which run in many different 
directions. In beef, the chuck is made 
into arm and blade roasts or steaks. 
The neck portion usually is made into 
ground beef or boneless stew meat. 

Arm cuts resemble round steak in 
shape and also usually have only a 
single round bone. However, the arm 
cut has a distinctive round muscle 
close to the bone which also is darker 
red than the other lean and contains a 
noticeable amount of heavy streaks of 
connective tissue. A similar muscle 
is not found in cuts from the round. 
Blade cuts contain a portion of the 
shoulder blade. The first blade cuts 
include the same muscles which make 
up the very desirable ribeye roll. 
With just a litde practice, these can 
be removed and made into delicious 

To facilitate carving and serving, 
the arm and blade portions frequendy 
are boned and further separated into 
sections in which the muscles run in 
about the same direction. 


Wholesale Cuts of Lamb and Their Bone Structure 

Retail Cuts of Lamb and Where They Come From 

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USDA meat grader rolling a Choice veal carcass. The grade and the letters "USDA" are enclosed 
in a shield and the word "veal" also is included. 

In lamb, two or three blade chops 
and arm chops usually are removed 
from the shoulder and the remainder 
is then sold as a bone-in or boneless 
shoulder roast. The neck may or may 
not be removed. 

In pork, this forepart produces two 
major cuts — the lower part is the 
picnic shoulder (it is not a picnic ham) 
and the upper part is the Boston butt. 

The Boston butt's inside portion, 
when cured and smoked, is the very 

desirable smoked shoulder butt — more 
frequendy referred to as a " westphalia" 
or "daisy." The cured and smoked 
jowl is sometimes termed a "bacon 
square." It is satisfactory for seasoning 
but is not a good substitute for real 

Quality Factors. Learning how to 
select for quality — tenderness, juici- 
ness, and flavor — is also an important 
aspect of meat selection. The most 
reliable factors for indicating meat 


U.S. Prime, above.— Prime gride beef it the ultimate in tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. It is 
produced from young animals and has a liberal amount of marbling. Most Prime beef is used by 
exclusive hotels and restaurants, but it is also available in some retail stores. U.S. Choice, below. — 
Choice is the grade in greatest supply and is the one most commonly sold in retail stores. It has 
slightly less marbling than Prime but still is of very high quality. 


U.S. Good, above.— Good grade beef often pleases thrifty shoppers because it is somewhat more 
lean than the higher grades. Some stores sell this quality of beef under their own or a packer 
brand rather than under the USDA grade name. U.S. Standard, below. — Standard grade beef has 
a high proportion of lean meat and very little fat. Because it comes from young animals — the same 
as Prime, Choice, and Good— beef of this grade is fairly tender. 


U.S. Commercial.— Commercial grade beef is produced only from mature animals. It has a very 
good flavor, but most cuts require long, slow cooking with moist heat to make them tender. In 
some respects, Commercial beef resembles Prime and Choice. For example, notice that it is 
similar to those grades in the amount of marbling. This is a good reason consumers should rely 
on the Federal grade rather than on their own ability to judge quality. 

quality are the age of the animal from 
which it came, the color and texture 
of the lean, and the amount of mar- 
bling — small deposits of fat within the 
lean. Fortunately, today's consumers 
need not be experts in judging the 
quality of beef, veal, calf, and lamb 
since about 80 percent of the beef, 60 
percent of the lamb, and smaller but 
significant amounts of the veal and 
calf sold at retail have been identified 
for quality by USDA meat graders. 
This is a voluntary service which is 
supported entirely by fees collected 
from those who use the service. 

Standards used for grading include 
the best information available for re- 
flecting differences in quality, and 
Federal meat graders are highly skilled 
in applying them. They grade only 
carcasses or wholesale cuts because 
quality differences cannot be appraised 
accurately in retail cuts. 


When meat is graded, a shield- 
shaped grademark enclosing the letters 
"USDA" and the appropriate grade 
name — such as Prime, Choice, or 
Good — is applied to the meat as a 
long, ribbonlike imprint. Thus, one 
or more grademarks will appear on 
most retail cuts. This stamping is done 
with harmless, purple, vegetable color- 
ing. When the grademark is applied to 


veal, calf, yearling mutton, or mutton, Expected Yield of Cuts From Typical Carcasses 

the Class name (veal, calf, etc.) is also Percentage of carcass 

included with the grade name. Yield * rade weight 

USDA meat grades are applied uni- 2:::::::::'.:::'.::::::::::::::: ff;2° rmore 

formly in all parts of the country and |--- : '.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.\'.'.'.'.'.'.\'. 7g!| 

at all times of the year — regardless of 5'. '. '.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. '.'.'.'.'.'. '.'.'.'.'.'. '. 63^6 or less 

the supply. Therefore, a USDA Choice 

rib roast, for instance, will be equally 

delicious no matter where or when you On a 600-pbund carcass the 4.6 

buy it. percent difference in yields of cuts 

There are eight USDA quality between yield grades means a differ- 

grades for beef, six for veal and calf, ence of nearly 28 pounds of meat. 

and five for lamb and yearling mutton. At 1968 retail prices this reflected a 

The top three grades — Prime, Choice, value difference of about $3.60 per 

and Good— are the same for all. The hundredweight (cwt.) — or $21.60 on 

remaining grades for beef are Stand- a 600-pound carcass or a 1,000-pound 

ard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and live animal. A difference of two yield 

Canner. For veal and calf they are grades, such as between Yield Grade 2 

Standard, Utility, and Cull, and for and Yield Grade 4, would mean a 

lamb, yearling mutton, and mutton value difference of $7.20 per cwt., or 

they are Utility and Cull. The Utility, $43.20 on a 600-pound carcass. The 

Cutter, Canner, and Cull grades are beef ribs from Yield Grade 2 and 

generally used in processed meat items Yield Grade 4 carcasses show obvious 

such as frankfurters. differences in the amount of external 

Yield Grades. Beef carcasses of the fat and in the size of the ribeye muscle, 

same quality grade — Choice, for in- Consumers should not confuse the 

stance, can differ gready in value due shield-shaped grade stamps which 

to differences in their yields of usable identify the quality of the meat or 

meat. These result mosdy from dif- its cutability (yield grade) with the 

ferences in the amount of fat trimmed round inspection stamp which certifies 

off in making retail cuts, but they are its wholesomeness. Since Federal grad- 

also affected by the thickness and ing is voluntary, there is no assurance 

plumpness of the muscles. that meat advertised as "federally 

To identify carcasses for these differ- inspected" is of any particular grade, 

ences, USDA developed a system of On the other hand, all meat that is 

five yield grades which are designated federally graded has passed an inspec- 

by numbers — 1 to 5. Yield Grade 1 tion for wholesomeness. 

identifies carcasses with the highest Many packers and retailers use 

yields of cuts and Yield Grade 5 those their own brand names to identify or 

with the lowest. advertise the various kinds of meat 

Yield grades are determined sepa- that they merchandise. Some of these 

rately from quality grades, and car- brands may reflect levels of quality 

casses can be graded for quality or similar to the USDA grades, but there 

yield or both. Yield grades are of no is no assurance or requirement that 

particular concern to consumers who they do so. The basis for these brands 

buy only retail cuts which are trimmed and the uniformity with which they 

of excess fat before being placed in the are applied are governed entirely by 

meat counter. But they can be very the company which uses them, 

helpful to the person who buys beef in Buying Pork. In contrast with other 

carcass form — a side or a quarter — for meats, USDA pork carcass grades are 

his home freezer. not intended to identify differences in 

The following tabulation shows the quality to consumers. They are similar 

expected yields of retail cuts from typi- to the yield grades for beef in that 

cal carcasses — or sides — for each of the they identify carcasses for differences 

yield grades. in yields of trimmed wholesale cuts. 


Wholesale Cuts of Pork and Their Bone Structure 


Retail Cuts of Pork and Where They Come From 


T*¥**: ^TsjfiffSr' 


Although there is less difference in 
the tenderness, juiciness, and flavor 
of pork than of beef, there are wide 
differences in other factors that are 
important to consumers. Therefore, 
consumers need to pay close attention 
to what they select. A high proportion 
of lean is probably the most important 
factor. This can be assured by selecting 
cuts which carry lntle fat and which 
have plump, full muscles. 

Cuts which contain several muscles, 
like rib end loin roasts and Boston 
butts, also can vary greatly in the 
amount of fat between the muscles. 
Picnic shoulders likewise vary in the 
amount of fat over the outside, that 
is, under the skin. Hams and picnic 
shoulders with short shanks are pref- 
erable. In high quality fresh pork 
the lean will be firm, grayish pink or 
darker in color, and it will have at 
least a slight amount of marbling — 
more is better. Soft, pale, watery lean 
is definitely less desirable. 

A high percentage of pork is sold 
as processed products. This processing 
may include curing, smoking, cooking, 
and canning. 

Pork occasionally contains trichinae 
(tiny parasites), which can be trans- 
mitted to humans producing a disease 
known as trichinosis. Therefore, in 
federally inspected plants, processed 
pork products that might be eaten 
without any further cooking must be 
heated to an internal temperature of 
at least 137° F. That temperature 
kills any trichinae that may be present. 

This requirement makes the possi- 
bility of anyone contracting trichinosis 
extremely remote. 

Because pork is processed in so 
many different ways, consumers should 
read the labels very carefully. This 
will permit them to better compare 
prices and also guide them in using 
it properly. 

"Cured" pork has been treated with 
curing ingredients — primarily salt, 
sodium or potassium nitrate and/or 
nitrite, and sugar. Salt is used for 
flavor and as a preservative, the nitrate 
and nitrite combine with the meat 
pigments to develop the typical red 

color of cured meat, and the sugar is 
added for flavor. These ingredients 
usually are applied to the meat in a 
brine solution. In hams, the brine 
usually is distributed by pumping it 
into the arteries. This permits the 
curing to be done very quickly. But 
it also produces a very mild flavor. 
Pork that is "cured" only may also be 
called "corned." 

In federally inspected plants, if the 
curing results in an increase in weight 
of up to 10 percent, the pork must be 
labeled with the words "water added." 
If the weight is increased by more than 
10 percent, it is labeled as "imitation." 
"Smoked" means that the pork has 
been subjected to actual smoke. Arti- 
ficial or natural smoke flavorings also 
are permissible, but these must be 
indicated on the label. 

Cured pork is frequently labeled as 
"cooked," "fully cooked," "ready-to- 
eat," or "ready-to-serve," etc. These 
terms mean that the pork has been 
heated to develop the typical color, 
flavor, and texture associated with 
thorough cooking. Cuts that are not 
identified with a "fully cooked" or a 
similar label require cooking before 

Hams that have been long-cured 
and aged also are produced in many 
parts of the country. After curing, 
these hams usually are heavily smoked 
and then aged to develop a very 
distinctive flavor. During aging, the 
hams also shrink in weight. Meat 
packers in Smithfield, Va., produce 
such a specialty ham which is com- 
monly referred to as "Smithfield 
ham." These hams are "long-cut" — 
that is, they include part of the sirloin 
region normally left on the loin. They 
also have long shanks and very litde of 
the skin and fat are removed from the 

Normally cured and smoked hams 
are also available with none, some, or 
all of the bones removed and with 
part or all of the skin and part or 
nearly all of the fat removed. 

During recent years, packers have 
produced an entirely boneless, skin- 
less, cured and smoked ham from 


which substantially all of the fat has 
been removed. This has become a very 
popular item because of its convenient 
size, its ease of preparation and serv- 
ing, and its almost complete freedom 
from waste. 

The canned cured hams and picnic 
shoulders are boneless and skinless and 
usually have had a substantial amount 
of the fat removed. They may be 
smoked or unsmoked and may contain 
added materials such as champagne or 
honey. These items are also very popu- 
lar because of their convenience of 
serving and lack of waste. At the time 
of canning, these meats may have an 
increase in weight of up to 8 percent 
over their weight before curing. The 
label on the can will indicate whether 
refrigeration is necessary. 

Most cured hams and sliced bacon 
are sold under packer brands. By care- 
ful comparison of brands over an ex- 
tended period of time, a family may 
find one or more which suit them best. 

Sausages. A mealtime and snacktime 
favorite of millions of Americans, sau- 
sages include a wide assortment of 
seasoned and processed meat products. 
Probably the best known of these items 
are fresh pork sausage and the ever 
popular frankfurter and bologna. Sau- 
sage products have litde or no waste, 
can be prepared quickly and easily, 
and served in a variety of ways — as 
sandwiches, snacks, salads, main dishes, 
and hors d'oeuvres. 

Sausage making originated as a 
means of preserving meat and goes 
back as far as recorded history. Many 
of our present-day sausages are named 
for the place of their origin. For exam- 
ple, the frankfurter originated in Frank- 
furt, Germany, and bologna originated 
in Bologna, Italy. Lebanon bologna, 
however, is an American product, orig- 
inating in Lebanon, Pa. 

Sausage products are processed in 
several ways — fresh, cured and dried, 
and cured and cooked. Most sausages 
are made from varying combinations 
of beef, pork, and veal, although meat 
byproducts like heart meat, tongue 
meat, and tripe also are used. In addi- 
tion, some items include cereal or non- 

fat dry milk as extenders. Most sausage 
products processed in federally in- 
spected plants cannot contain more 
than Zy 2 percent of these extenders 
without being labeled as imitation. 
However, some loaf items may contain 
more than 3% percent extenders — 
including such other ingredients as 
pickles, olives, or macaroni. Addition 
of byproducts and cereals generally 
tend to lower the quality of sausages, 
but many people feel that the addition 
of small amounts of nonfat dry milk 
makes the quality of some sausages 
more desirable. 

Federal meat inspection regulations 
require that the ingredients used in a 
sausage product be listed on the label 
in descending order of predominance. 

Loaf items are cooked in molds or 
loaf pans and then sliced and packaged 
for sale. Practically all other sausage 
products are stuffed into casings or 

Some sausages are dried during 
processing. Dried sausages like pep- 
peroni, thuringer, and dry salami are 
quite firm, very flavorful, and nor- 
mally do not need to be refrigerated. 

Many seasonings are used in making 
sausages. Salt is always used and 
serves as a flavoring ingredient and a 
preservative. Other common season- 
ings are sugar, pepper, sage, mace, 
ginger, nutmeg, and garlic. Some 
sausages are characterized by a par- 
ticular seasoning ingredient. For ex- 
ample, cooked salami contains whole 
pepper corns. 

Variety meats — sometimes referred 
to as byproducts — include items like 
hearts, livers, tongues, tails, sweet- 
breads, kidneys, brains, tripe, and 
chitterlings. In general, these items 
are in much greater demand in other 
countries — Europe, in particular — and 
so a rather substantial proportion of 
many of these items is exported. This 
is somewhat difficult to understand 
because livers, tongues, hearts, and 
kidneys, in particular, are all highly 
nutritious and, except for calf liver, 
usually are quite reasonable in price. 

Buying for the Freezer. Freezing is an 
excellent way to preserve most kinds 

of meat, and families which raise their 
own livestock and other produce may 
obtain substantial savings by renting 
one or more lockers in a freezer locker 
plant or from having a locker plant 
process their meat for storage in a 
home freezer. 

However, the great majority of 
consumers must purchase all of their 
meat. For these families, there may 
be less monetary advantage in owning 
a freezer but this may be offset by 
other factors such as the convenience 
of having a ready supply of meat on 
hand at all times. 

Families having limited freezer 
space — such as in a combination 
refrigerator-freezer — usually will be 
limited to retail stores as a source of 
supply but by careful management 
they can generally arrange to have a 
reasonable assortment of different 
kinds of meat on hand most of the 
time. And, by buying "on special," 
they can also make considerable sav- 
ings. However, this approach may re- 
quire rewrapping meats in a stronger 
material and taking care that only 
relatively small amounts of meat are 
frozen at any one time. If they desire 
to do so, families with larger freezers 
usually will be able to purchase their 
meat from specialized dealers such as 
locker plants or freezer provisioners. 

Buying from a freezer provisioner 
or locker plant usually involves pur- 
chasing a side, quarter, or wholesale 

cut. This will require less effort on 
your part than buying retail cuts and 
freezing them yourself, since all of the 
wrapping and freezing will be done 
by the dealer. Other advantages of 
buying from a locker plant or freezer 
provisioner are that the meat can be 
frozen more rapidly and you can indi- 
cate how long you want the meat aged 
and how it is to be cut. However, 
buying meat as a side, quarter, or 
wholesale cut may result in your 
getting more of some cuts than you 
would like — or even some cuts that 
you might prefer not to have at all. 
Buying retail cuts for freezing permits 
you to buy only the cuts you actually 

Making a valid comparison of the 
cost of buying meat in the form of 
retail cuts or as a side, quarter, or 
wholesale cut can be very frustrating 
to most consumers. This is because 
the average family has little or no 
knowledge about the actual propor- 
tion of the different cuts — as well as 
the amount of fat and bone — that 
they will get from a side of beef. 
However, the following example shows 
how such a comparison can be made. 
Let's assume that you can buy a 300- 
pound side of beef (USDA Choice, 
Yield Grade 3) for 65 cents per 
pound — cut, wrapped, and frozen. 
The total cost would be $195 (300 
pounds x 65|£=$195). 

But, as indicated in the table below, 

Retail Cuts 

Approximate Weight, Pounds 
Percent of (from 300 Local Prices 

Side Weight lb. side) per lb. 

(Yield Grade 3) 

Retail Value 

Round Steak 





X = 

Rump Roast (boneless) 

Porterhouse, T-bone, club 

X - = 

v = 

Sirloin Steak 

v = 

Rib Roast 

X = 

Chuck Blade Roast 

x = 

Chuck Arm Roast 

v = 

X = 

Stew Meat 

x = 

X = 

Total Retail Cuts 

Waste (fat, bone, shrink- 








such beef normally will yield only 
about 73 percent of its weight in 
trimmed cuts (when the cutting and 
trimming are done as usual in retail 
operations). Therefore, 300 pounds 
x 73 percent=219 actual pounds of 
cuts. And the actual average cost of 
the cuts would be 89 cents per pound 
($195-j-219 pounds=89)4 per pound). 

Now, using the table below, let's 
see how you could compare this cost 
with that of buying an equivalent 
amount of retail cuts. To determine 
the total cost of such an assortment 
of retail cuts simply insert retail prices 
per pound for each cut in the column 
headed "Local prices," multiply each 
price by the weight shown in the 
second column, and enter the answer 
in the last column headed "Retail 
value." The total of this column will 
be the total cost of 219 pounds of 
retail cuts in the same proportion as 
would be obtained from a 300-pound 
side. (In the example, this would com- 
pare with the $195 total cost of the 
300-pound side.) The average cost of 
the cuts per pound would be deter- 
mined by dividing the total cost by 
219 pounds. (In the example, this 
would compare with the 89 cents per 
pound.) For additional information on 
this subject, the reader is referred to 
U.S. Department of Agriculture Home 
and Garden Bulletin No. 166, "How 
to Buy Meat for Your Freezer." 

Families purchasing meat from a 
locker plant or a freezer provisioner 
should make sure that the supplier has 
a well-established reputation for hon- 
esty and for fairness. Although most 
businessmen are honest, there are al- 
ways a few who will take advantage of 
the uninformed. In this connection, 
one of the practices that consumers 
should beware of is known as "bait 
and switch." 

This takes the form of offering beef, 
for instance, at very low prices and 
sometimes advertising this as "U.S. 
Choice" or as "U.S. Prime." Having 
attracted a potential customer to his 
plant with this "bait," the dealer will 
show him the advertised beef. Al- 
though it may be of the quality grade 


advertised, this "bait" carcass will 
usually be a specially selected specimen 
that is very fat and wasty. 

However, hanging alongside will be 
another obviously leaner carcass which 
the dealer then persuades the customer 
is what he really should buy. But, the 
price of the leaner beef will be much 
higher even though it really may be 
lower in quality and actually have cost 
the dealer less than the normal whole- 
sale price for the advertised grade. 
That is the "switch." 

In most cases, the leaner carcass will 
not carry a USDA grade but the dealer 
will assure the customer that it has 
been inspected by USDA (hoping that 
this may make him think that it also 
has been graded) or that it rates a 
"Fancy," "Supreme" or some other 
likely sounding "grade" name. 

Since the customer usually is not 
present to make an inventory of the 
various cuts at the time his meat is 
being cut, it also is quite easy, for 
instance, for such a plant to fail to 
deliver a portion of an order, to sub- 
stitute a lower grade of meat than 
ordered, or to charge for excess weight. 

Customers should remember that 
the only official USDA grades for 
meat are those listed previously. Con- 
sumers also should remember that a 
very high percentage of the beef and 
lamb that qualifies for Choice or Prime 
is actually graded and is readily availa- 
ble at all times. So, if they want this 
quality of beef or lamb they should insist 
the grade stamp be left on the cuts. 

Some dealers also advertise a "beef 
bundle" or a "steak package." Unless 
these advertisements indicate specifi- 
cally the grade of the meat and the 
kind and amount of the various cuts 
included, the average family would be 
well advised to steer clear of such 
"deals." They should also beware of 
advertisements which ofTer "something 
for nothing" — bargains which are too 
sensational to be realistic. No dealer 
can really afford to give meat away or 
to sell it at a loss, and reputable ones 
will not pretend to do so. 

As pointed out earlier, there has 
been a retail sales value difference of 

These rib cuts from beef carcasses represent two yield grades— the rib above comes from a Yield 
Grade 2 carcass. The rib below obviously has more fat; it is from a Yield Grade 4 carcass. 


about $3.60 per cwt. between typical 
carcasses — or sides — of adjacent yield 
grades. However, in wholesale trading 
up to this time, the price differences 
between yield grades have been sub- 
stantially less than this. Therefore, in 
purchasing a side of beef, for instance, 
it should be best to purchase as high a 
yield grade as possible since the prices 
charged should be in line with current 
wholesale prices. However, this may 
not be the case. 

For example, in mid- 1968 a freezer 
provisioner in the Washington, D.C., 
area quoted U.S. Choice heifer sides 
at 53 cents per pound and U.S. Choice 
steer sides at 69 cents per pound. When 
asked about this difference in price for 
the same quality grade, the salesman 
explained that the steer sides were 
Yield Grade 1, 2, or 3 and that the 
heifer sides were Yield Grade 4 or 5. 

Subsequent examination revealed 
there was a substantial difference in 
cutability (yield of cuts) between the 
steer and heifer beef, but that none of 
it had actually been yield graded. 
Furthermore, at that time the differ- 
ence in the wholesale price of these two 
kinds of carcasses was much less than 
16 cents per pound. 

This same company also was selling 
U.S. Prime steer sides at 99 cents per 
pound — 30 cents per pound more than 
the U.S. Choice steer sides. At that 
time, the difference in the wholesale 
price between such Prime and Choice 
beef was only 2 cents per pound. In 
beef of the same yield grade there is 
seldom more than 2 cents per pound 
difference between the wholesale prices 
for Prime and Choice or Choice and 

The foregoing discussion is not in- 
tended to discourage consumers from 
freezing meat or from owning home 
freezers. Rather, it is intended to show 
consumers how they can make realistic 
comparisons of different methods of 
buying meat and also to caution them 
about the practices of some unscrupu- 
lous suppliers. Freezing is an excellent 
means of preserving meat and other 
foods, and freezers are a very conven- 
ient method of storage. 


Care, Storing, and Freezing. Meat is 
usually the most expensive item in the 
food budget and it is perishable, so it 
is important to use care not only in 
selection at the market but also in use 
down to the last bit of leftover. 

Keep meat clean and cold— in the 
refrigerator (35° to 40° F.) or in the 
freezer (at 0° F. or below) until it is 
cooked. The cold temperature slows 
down changes that affect eating qual- 
ity and cause food spoilage. Generally, 
the lower the temperature, the slower 
the change. A few meat items may be 
held at room temperature — canned 
luncheon meats, certain sausages, some 
small canned hams, and some dry- 
cured hams. 

For short-time refrigerator storage, 
place fresh meat in the special meat 
compartment, or in the coldest part of 
your refrigerator (not the ice cube 
maker) as soon as possible after pur- 
chase. Prepackaged meat may usually 
be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days in its 
original (transparent) wrapper. If you 
plan to keep the meat refrigerated for 
longer than 2 days, you should rewrap 
the meat loosely so air will circulate 
and dry the meat surface slighdy, as 
bacteria grow less quickly upon a dry 

Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork— An 
the form of roasts, chops, cutlets, and 
steaks — may usually be held 3 to 5 
days in the refrigerator before there is 
evident loss of palatability or flavor. 
Cured and smoked meats, like bacon, 
bologna, hams, sausage, and frank- 
furters, usually may be stored for 7 
days in the refrigerator. Fresh sausage, 
ground meats, variety meats, and stew 
meats should be used within 1 to 2 days 
because they are especially perishable. 

To prepare fresh meat for freezing, 
remove excess fat and divide the meat 
into individual or meal-size portions. 
Boneless cuts save storage space and 
are not likely to puncture the wrapping 
material. Wrap meat tightly in a 
moisture and vapor resistant packag- 
ing material like foil or plastic. Proper 
packaging prevents foods from drying 
out and prevents air from entering the 
package. Separate individual portions, 

like chops and hamburger patties, 
with double layers of waxed paper or 
foil to prevent them from freezing 
together. Label and date packages. 

Place your meat promptly in a 
freezer, or in a refrigerator's freezer 
section where a temperature of 0°F. 
or lower is maintained. Turn your 
freezer control to the coldest position 
to speed freezing and help prevent 
warming of any other stored frozen 
food. Limit the amount of food to be 
frozen at one time to 2 pounds per 
cubic foot of the total freezer space. If 
your freezer will not maintain a 
temperature as low as 0°F., the meat 
held there must be used considerably 
sooner than the freezer times that are 
given below. 

Frozen meat, if properly packaged, 
frozen, and stored, may be kept for 
long periods with little change in its 
eating quality. For best eating, use 
beef and lamb roasts and steaks within 
12 months; pork, calf, and veal roasts 
within 8 months; lamb, pork, and veal 
chops or cutlets, and variety meats 
within 4 months; ground and stew 
meats within 3 months; and use fresh 
sausage within 2 months. 

Freezing of cured meats is not 
recommended because seasonings add- 
ed during curing accelerate , the de- 
velopment of rancidity. If cured meats 
are frozen, they should be used within 
a month or two. 

Frozen meat may be cooked with or 
without thawing. Frozen meat takes 
about 1% to \y 2 times as long to cook 
as thawed or fresh meat. Whenever 
possible, frozen meat should be thawed 
in its wrappings in the refrigerator and 
cooked soon after thawing. However, 
thawed meat is no more perishable 
than unfrozen meat. Thawed meat 
may be refrozen, if necessary, but it 
may be less tender and juicy. 

Cooked meats should be covered or 
wrapped and refrigerated promptly. 
A rapid cooling in the refrigerator 
helps prevent bacterial growth and 
spoilage. Gravy and meat broth are 
highly perishable and so should be 
refrigerated quickly and stored only 
for 1 or 2 days. 

When refrigerated, cooked meat is 
best if used within 2 days. To keep 
cooked meat longer, remove meat from 
bones (to save storage space), wrap 
tightly in moisture and vapor resistant 
material, and freeze quickly. Cooked 
meat, as well as many cooked combi- 
nation dishes containing beef or veal, 
can be stored in the freezer at 0° F. for 
2 or 3 months. When you want to use 
frozen cooked casseroles or stews, you 
can heat them from the frozen state 
without thawing first. 

Guidelines for Cooking Meat. The key 
to success in cooking meat is to use 
medium to low temperatures and to 
cook it for as short a time as possible. 
When prepared in this manner, beef, 
veal, lamb, and pork are juicy with 
maximum tenderness. The aroma from 
meat cooked at low temperatures is 
more pleasant and the color is more 
even than that of meat cooked at high 
temperatures. Another advantage of 
low to moderate cooking temperatures 
is that there is more meat to serve 
because of the smaller losses through 
evaporation, shrinkage, and drippings. 

The degree of doneness of meat is a 
matter of individual preference. Cook 
beef as you like it — rare, medium, or 
well done. 

Rare beef has a puffy, full appear- 
ance, a brown exterior, reddish-pink 
interior, and lots of clear red juice. 
The internal temperature of rare roast 
is 140° F. Beef cooked to a medium 
degree, with an internal temperature 
of 155° to 160° F., has a light pink 
interior and less juice of a lighter color 
than rare beef. Well-done beef is light 
brown throughout and the internal 
temperature will be 170° to 180° F. 

The temperatures cited above are 
those associated with roasts ; but small 
roasts and steaks may reach a given 
stage of doneness at a lower internal 
meat temperature. To check the done- 
ness of a steak or chop, cut along the 
bone and observe the interior color of 
the meat. 

Veal should be cooked well done 
(to 170° F. internal temperature) to 
make it tender and palatable. Well- 
done veal has a red-brown exterior 


and a gray interior color. Lamb is 
usually preferred medium (170° F. in- 
ternal temperature), or as well done 
(180° F.). Medium lamb chops have a 
grayish-tan interior with a tinge of 
pink. Well-done lamb is grayish-tan 
with no trace of pink. 

Variety meats are usually cooked to 
the well-done stage. 

Fresh pork should be cooked thor- 
oughly. The recommended internal 
temperature for pork loin is 170° F. 
Research has proved that the 185° F. 
recommended for many years is not 
necessary — and cooking pork to only 
170° F. makes for juicier meat and 
fewer cooking losses than the higher 
temperature. A good test for "done- 
ness" of fresh pork is to make small 
cuts next to the bone and into the 
thicker part of the meat. If the juice is 
still pink, the pork is not done. Heat 
"cook-before-eating" cured hams to 
160° F. and picnic shoulders to 1 70° F. 
"Fully cooked" cured shoulders and 
hams may be served unheated, but 
heating them to 130° F. brings out a 
better flavor. 

Roasting. In roasting, the meat is 
surrounded and cooked by heated air 
in an oven. The meat is not covered 
and no water is added. 

Specific cuts of beef in the Prime, 
Choice, and Good grades which are 
suggested for roasting include rib, loin, 
sirloin, tenderloin, and sirloin tip. In 
the Prime and Choice grades, the top 
round, eye of round, and blade chuck 
cuts are recommended for roasting. 

Large blocky cuts of veal — from 
the leg, loin, rib, and shoulder — are 
generally roasted. Nearly all lamb cuts 

are tender enough for roasting, par- 
ticularly those from the leg, loin, rib, 
and shoulder. Besides fresh and cured 
ham and shoulder, those pork cuts 
which are roasted successfully include 
loin or rib roasts and spareribs. 

Place any meat to be roasted fat 
side up in a shallow pan so that the 
fat may baste the meat as it cooks. 
Insert a meat thermometer into the 
center of thick cuts, being careful that 
the tip touches neither fat nor bone. 
Roast the meat uncovered in a 325° F. 
oven until the thermometer registers 
the desired internal temperature. Re- 
move meat from the oven and allow 
it to stand for a few minutes to make 
carving easier. 

As a guide, approximate roasting 
times are given in timetable below; 
they are based on meat at refrigerator 
temperatures as the cooking begins. 

Allow for extra time to roast thick, 
chunky cuts, boneless or rolled cuts, 
meat with an outside fat layer, and 
stuffed roasts. Unthawed roasts may 
take one and a half times as long to 
cook as fresh or thawed roasts of the 
same weight and shape. The amount 
of the additional cooking time needed 
depends upon the size and shape of 
the meat cut, as well as on its initial 

Broiling, Pan Broiling, or Pan Frying. 
Broiling is cooking meat one side at a 
time by heat from a flame, electric 
unit, or glowing coals. In pan broiling, 
the meat is cooked in an uncovered 
pan over direct heat, and the fat that 
cooks out of the meat is drained off 
and not allowed to accumulate. When 
fat is added to the pan or allowed to 

Estimated Times for Roasting Meat at 325° F. 

Kind of meat and cut 


Time required for center of meat to reach i 

1 given temperature 

' F. Hours 





Beef roasts 

. . 3 to 5 

.. 5 
.. 5 
.. 3 

140 2 to 3 




3 to 334 

2% to 31/0 



2% to 3% 

Fresh pork roasts 




.. 6 

130 H/4 to 2 






accumulate, the method is pan frying. 

Beef steaks especially suitable for 
broiling, pan broiling, or pan frying 
include tenderloin (filet mignon) in 
all grades, and porterhouse, T-bone, 
club, strip loin, sirloin, rib, ribeye in 
the Prime, Choice, and Good grades. 
The same three cooking methods also 
may be successfully used for sirloin tip, 
top round, and blade chuck steaks — 
but only in the Prime and Choice 

Many cuts of lamb in the Prime and 
Choice grades are recommended for 
broiling, pan broiling, or frying, in- 
cluding leg steaks and loin, sirloin, 
rib, and shoulder chops. Ground lamb 
or beef is also broiled or pan broiled 
frequendy. Pork chops may be broiled 
or pan broiled, as well as cured ham 
slices, bacon, and Canadian bacon. 
Veal and pork steaks, cudets, and 
chops may be pan fried. 

Steaks, chops, or meat patties at 
least an inch thick, and cured ham 
slices % inch thick, are best for broil- 
ing. Thinner pieces of meat are usually 
more satisfactory when pan broiled 
or pan fried. 

To broil, pan broil, or pan fry, trim 
the outer edge of fat from the meat to 
within % inch — this reduces spattering 
and, when broiling, lessens the danger 
of a steak or drippings catching on 
fire. Slash the remaining fat at inter- 
vals to prevent curling of the meat 
while it cooks. 

Place the meat on a broiler rack and 
slowly broil one side. When browned 
on one side, season the meat and turn 
it over. Broil the other side to desired 
doneness and season it. Very thick 
steaks or chops should be cooked more 
slowly than thin cuts. Otherwise, the 
outside may char before the inside 
cooks. Also, large steaks take longer to 
reach a given doneness than small 
steaks with the same thickness. Very 
thick steaks or chops may be warmed 
or partially cooked in a 350° F. oven 
and then browned under the broiler. 

To pan broil, cook the meat slowly 
in a preheated, heavy, uncovered fry- 
ing pan over medium heat. To pan 
fry, add a small amount of fat to pre- 

heated pan. Turn the meat occa- 
sionally. Enough heat must be applied 
or the meat will stew in the juice 
rather than brown. To increase brown- 
ing, dredge meat in seasoned flour or 
crumbs before pan frying. 

Allow 10 to 25 minutes for broiling 
1 -inch- thick steaks. Lamb chops and 
cured ham slices require 12 to 20 
minutes. Bacon needs about 4 to 5 
minutes, Canadian bacon about 10 
minutes, liver about 12 minutes, and 
kabobs around 20 minutes. Ground 
meat patties take 8 to 15 minutes, 
depending on their thickness and de- 
gree of doneness desired. Cooking time 
for pan broiled meat is about the same 
as that for broiled meat of similar 
thickness and size. Frying usually takes 
a litde less time than the times given 
for broiling. 

To test broiled meat for doneness, 
cut a small slit in the lean and note 
the color and texture. Or, press the 
meat lighdy with a fork; very rare 
meat is soft and pulpy; medium rare 
is slightiy resistant, and well-done meat 
is quite firm. 

When meat is broiled, pan broiled, 
or fried, it will be more tender and 
juicy if cooked only to the rare stage, 
rather than well done. 

Braising. Braising, cooking by steam 
trapped and held in a covered con- 
tainer or foil wrap, is recommended 
for less tender cuts of meat. The source 
of steam may be water or other liquid 
added to meat, or it may be meat 
juices. Braising may be done in a heavy 
pan on top of the range, in a moderate 
oven, or in a pressure saucepan. 

Pot roasting is braising large cuts of 
meat. Stewing or simmering is a form 
of braising and refers to cooking meat 
in liquid just below the boiling point. 
For stews, meat is cut into small 1- to 
2-inch cubes. 

Many beef cuts, particularly in the 
lower grades — Standard or Commer- 
cial — are best prepared by braising 
them. These include sirloin, sirloin tip, 
round, flank, chuck, shoulder, rump, 
and short ribs. 

Braising is good for many cuts of veal 
because the combination of browning 


and steaming tenderizes the meat and 
develops its flavor. Best veal cuts for 
braising include arm or blade steaks or 
chops, breast, cudets or round steaks, 
loin or rib chops, and riblets. In lamb, 
the cuts most suited to braising are 
breast, leg steaks, riblets, shanks, shoul- 
der chops, and roasts. All pork chops 
or steaks are very satisfactory when 
braised, as are spareribs and cured 
ham shanks. 

In braising meat, brown the meat 
slowly on all sides in enough fat to keep 
the meat from sticking. Meats which 
have a considerable amount of fat (and 
have not been breaded or floured) can 
be browned without added fat — brown 
first the sides with the greatest amount 
of fat. Add fat to brown breaded, 
floured, or low-fat meats like veal. 
Browning is optional; some cuts like 
corned beef are never browned. 

After browning the meat, you may 
need to add a small amount of liquid 
(around ){ cup for a roast) — water, 
broth, cider, tomato or vegetable juice, 
wine, meat stock, or diluted soy sauce 
may be used. Some cuts have enough 
juices to provide steam without requir- 
ing added moisture. 

Add liquid in small amounts as 
needed rather than all at once, to re- 
tain flavors developed during brown- 
ing. For soups and large cuts like 
corned beef, cover meat with water. 
Cover pan tightly and simmer meat in 
a 350° F. oven or over low to medium 
heat until the meat is fork tender. 

Braising and simmering times de- 
pend on kind, size, and thickness of the 
meat. Allow % to 1 hour to braise 
chops and cutiets {){ to 1 inch thick) ; 
the longer time for pork or larger, 
thicker cuts. Flank steak, lamb breast 
or shank, and boneless cured pork 
shoulder butt require 1% to 2 hours. 
Chuck and round steak (1 to 1 % inches 
thick) generally need 2 to 2% hours as 
do short ribs, and lamb and veal 
shoulder roasts. Beef roasts and shanks 
(3 to 5 pounds) require 3 to 4 hours. 
Allow 2% to 3 hours for 1 %-inch cubes 
of beef to become tender in stews, and 
IK to 2 hours for cubes of lamb, pork, 
or veal. Fresh or corned beef brisket 


(8 pounds) and whole cured hams (12 
to 16 pounds) require 4 to 5 hours of 
simmering time. 

Country-cured hams should be 
scrubbed, soaked overnight in water, 
and then simmered (15 to 20 minutes 
per pound) to remove excess salt before 
they are roasted or braised. 

Braising in a pressure saucepan 
shortens the cooking time, but the 
meat may shrink more (leaving fewer 
servings) and be less juicy than meat 
braised in the oven or over direct heat. 
Meat braised at 10 pounds of pressure 
is fork tender in about a quarter of 
the time required for a conventional 

If you add vegetables to braised 
meat, do this during the last 30 to 45 
minutes of cooking. Be cautious about 
using strongly flavored vegetables, such 
as turnips and parsnips. Green or 
partially ripe fruits — peaches, pears, 
gage plums — give beef stew a tart and 
unusual flavor. 

A famous dish prepared by simmer- 
ing is the New England boiled dinner. 
Simmer corned beef with bay leaf, 
pepper corns, onion, carrot, and pars- 
ley until tender. Slice meat evenly and 
serve with carrots, cabbage, and pota- 
toes which have been simmered sepa- 
rately or with the meat for the last 
half hour of cooking time. 

Cooking Variety Meats. Variety meats, 
considered a gourmet item by many 
people, are often more economical 
than regular meat cuts and offer an 
interesting change of menu. The choice 
of a cooking method for variety meats 
depends on how tender the particular 
meat is. Variety meats are usually 
cooked well done regardless of the 
cooking method. 

Brains, sweetbreads, and veal (calf) 
liver and kidneys are tender and can 
be pan fried or broiled. For variation, 
they can be braised or simmered. Less 
tender variety meats — heart, tongue, 
tripe, and beef liver and kidneys — 
need braising or simmering. 

To prepare a variety meat for cook- 
ing, you should remove any large 
blood vessels and wash the meat in 
water (warm water for heart, but cold 

water for kidneys, sweetbreads, and 

For kidneys, remove the outer mem- 
brane, split the kidneys lengthwise 
through the center, and remove inner 
fat and tubes. To broil kidneys, dip 
them in melted butter or margarine, 
and place them on a cold broiler grid. 
Broil them until they are brown on 
each side. To simmer kidneys, place 
them in a deep pot and add water to 
cover them. Then simmer till tender, 
which takes about 1 to IK hours for 
beef kidneys, % to 1 hour for veal 
kidneys. Change water once during 
the simmering time to eliminate any 
strong odor. 

To broil liver, dip the sliced liver in 
melted butter or margarine, place on 
cold broiler grid, and broil just long 
enough for the liver to lose its red 
color — about 3 minutes on each side. 

Heart may be stuffed with dressing 
and braised until tender. Or you may 
wish to simmer beef heart 3 to 4 hours 
(2% to 3 hours cooking time for lamb, 
pork, and veal hearts) in salted water 
until tender. 

Sweetbreads and brains may be 
simmered for 20 minutes in water 
containing a teaspoon of salt and 1 
tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice per 
quart (this liquid firms and whitens 
the meats). Then, dip the meat in 
salted fat and broil lightly 10 to 15 
minutes; or heat in cream or tomato 
sauce; or coat with crumbs or flour 
and fry about 20 minutes until tender 
and lighdy browned. 

Cooking Ground Meat. Homemakers 
serve ground meat frequentiy — it can 
be formed into meat patties (which 
are broiled or fried), meat loaves, 
meatballs, or used in meat sauces. 

To prepare juicy ground meat, 
handle the meat as little as possible. 
Excessive mixing results in a more 
compact, less tender product. Be care- 
ful not to overcook the meat or it will 
be too dry. 

Meatballs may contain ground meat 
mixed with seasonings, breadcrumbs, 
mashed potatoes, rice, and liquid. 
The meat mixture is often shaped, 
browned, and simmered in a sauce for 

30 to 45 minutes over low heat or in 
a 350° F. oven. During cooking the 
meat is basted with the sauce occasion- 
ally. Meatballs also may be fried in a 
pan or in deep fat. 

A meat loaf mixture — possibly con- 
taining onions, green peppers, mush- 
rooms, and celery — may be packed in 
a loaf pan or mold and baked un- 
covered at 350° F. The cooking time 
depends on size and shape of loaf. 

Leftover cooked meat may be cubed 
or ground and included in many 
recipes calling for braised or simmered 
meat. Just eliminate the browning 
step and reduce the braising or sim- 
mering time. Ground cooked meat can 
be used in croquettes, salads, souffles, 
omelets, and casseroles. 

To make a meat roll, spread biscuit 
or pie dough with chopped or cubed 
cooked meat moistened with gravy. 
Roll like a jelly roll; slice 1 inch thick; 
and bake it on a greased pan until 

A good hash is made up of finely 
chopped leftover meat, cubed potatoes, 
onions, and well-seasoned gravy. All 
these are fried together until firm 
enough to dip. Fry slowly to allow 
potatoes to absorb flavor of the meat. 

Seasoning. A high-quality piece of 
meat really requires only salt and pep- 
per for seasoning. However, to give 
variety you may season it with spices 
and herbs, marinate it, baste it with a 
glaze or sauce, or fill it with a stuffing. 

Seasonings sprinkled on raw meat 
surfaces penetrate only slightly. Spices 
and herbs are often added to the 
cooked meat or its sauce. But a word 
of caution: Limit the number and 
amount of spices and herbs used at 
any one time with meat. Heat may 
produce a stronger aromatic flavor 
than is desired. Omit or reduce salt 
when seasoned salt (salt combined 
with a spice or herb) or soy sauce is 
used — otherwise the meat may turn 
too salty. 

Remember, it is so easy to add 
flavor with seasoning — but impossible 
to remove it when too much is added. 

Commercial tenderizers may be 
applied to the surface of raw meat to 


increase its tenderness. Like season- 
ings, they penetrate for only a short 
distance, so they are more effective in 
tenderizing steaks than roasts. Papain, 
the enzyme used in most commercially 
prepared tenderizers, tenderizes meat 
proteins primarily during cooking at 
the temperatures between 140° and 
176° F. Over tenderization may occur 
if enzyme- treated meat is cooked at 
too low a temperature, if it is held at 
serving temperatures for a long time, 
or if it is reheated. Some commercial 
tenderizers contain added seasonings. 

Marinating is used to introduce 
flavor into a meat dish. At one time, 
marinades were used for tenderizing 
purposes, but most cooks today use 
them for flavor. Marinades usually 
include an acid (lemon juice, cider, 
or vinegar), seasonings (salt, pepper, 
onion, garlic, spices or herbs), and 
sometimes a fat (olive, vegetable oil). 

To marinate, soak small cuts (cubes 
or chops) for a few hours in enough 
liquid to entirely cover them. Mari- 
nate large cuts overnight to 24 hours 
in the refrigerator. The acid pene- 
trates meat slowly, so you should allow 
time for the flavor to reach the center. 
To reduce the amount of marinade 
required, use a container (not alumi- 
num as the acid may pit it) only 
slightly larger than the meat, or encase 
the meat with marinade in a plastic 
freezer bag. Turn the meat several 

Moderately low roasting tempera- 
tures have made it not necessary to 
baste meat to combat excessive dry- 
ness. However, basting or glazing a 
baked ham continues as a traditional 
cooking method, and other meat cuts 
may be basted with a glaze, sauce, or 
wine to add flavor. Try basting meat 
during the last 30 minutes of roasting, 
using grape juice, apple cider, cran- 
berry sauce, maple sirup, or sweet- 
sour sauce. Remove the skin of cured 
and smoked pork shoulders and hams 
and score the fat just before basting. 
Other meat cuts require no special 
treatment before basting. 

Stuffing may also add distinction to 
many meats. You can stuff breast of 
lamb or veal; pork chops; shoulder of 
veal, lamb, or pork; lamb or pork 
crown roasts, spareribs, and tender- 
loins. Also, before roasting or braising, 
you can roll thin slices of boneless meat 
(slices should be pounded flat) around 
stuffing and fasten with toothpicks or 
a small skewer, or tie with a string. 

The stuffing base can be bread, rice, 
cornbread, potatoes, corn, ground 
meat, macaroni, or fruit. For variety 
and flavor, add anchovies, ripe olives, 
mushrooms, green peppers, nuts, or 
pickles. Many people prefer a rich, 
flavorful stuffing for veal and a fruit 
stuffing for pork. Stuff veal with a 
sausage or ham mixture, or with your 
favorite poultry stuffing. Stuff pork 
with a cooked mixture of dried apri- 
cots, prunes, rice, celery, onion, and 
almonds, or with prunes and apples. 

Ground meat combines readily with 
numerous flavors or seasonings to make 
it subtle, spicy, hot, or pungent, as 
you prefer. 

When you are pan broiling meat 
patties, use a teaspoon of salt per 
pound of meat, and add a little bar- 
becue or Worcestershire sauce to the 
pan just before the cooking is com- 
pleted — this gives a tangy flavor. 

Meat loaves may be distinctively 
yours. Add sage, garlic, or dry mustard 
for a new flavor. For a surprise, pack 
the meat around whole peeled carrots, 
or around rectangles of sharp proc- 
essed cheese, or around a row of hard- 
cooked eggs. Alternate layers of sea- 
soned ground meat with layers of 
sliced onions, sliced fresh tomatoes, 
and cooked bacon. 

Cooking meat is not difficult — you 
actually have more freedom in pre- 
paring meat than you do in making a 
cake, which requires precise measure- 
ments. Just follow the basic recom- 
mendations in this section: Select the 
grade and cuts of meat best suited to 
the method of cooking you plan to use, 
store it properly, and cook it at a low 


Violet B. Crosby 
Ashley R. Gulich 

Poultry: A Tasty, 
Anytime Delight 
That's Popular 
Dozens of Ways 

Poultry is high on the list of popularity 
in American meals — and that's no 
accident. With today's modern pro- 
duction, processing, and marketing 
methods, chicken, turkey, duck, and 
geese are available the year around — 
for roasting, broiling, frying, stewing, 
or making soups, salads, or practically 
whatever you can think of. 

Packaged, cut-up chicken and tur- 
key, heat-and-serve fried chicken, and 
the newer turkey and chicken rolls, 
roasts, or bars make poultry among the 
most versatile and easy-to-prepare 
dishes you can find. Roasts and rolls, 
all meat and boneless, make a wonder- 
ful dish for buffet dinners, late parties, 
or any time. 

Because of seasonal production and 
limited supplies, "chicken on Sunday" 
and "turkey on Thanksgiving" were 
meals looked forward to with mouth- 
watering anticipation in the 1930's. 
But those days are in the past — today's 
consumers have a delectable variety of 
poultry products to serve any day of 
the week, any week of the year. 

How well our American palates are 
satisfied by poultry is reflected by its 
frequent appearance on the family 

menu. Per capita consumption of 
poultry has jumped spectacularly in 
the past 30 years — we now eat more 
than twice as much chicken as we did 
back in 1940, and three times as much 

The terms for "poultry" include 
chickens, turkeys, geese, guineas, and 
duck. Broiler-fryer chickens are pro- 
duced most heavily in the Del-Mar- Va 
Peninsula, where Delaware, Maryland, 
and Virginia converge, and in the 
Southeast, notably in Georgia, Missis- 
sippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and the 

Stewing hens, a byproduct of the egg 
industry, are produced in the South- 
east, Midwest, parts of the Northeast, 
and in California. 

Major production areas for turkeys 
are the Midwest and California. 

Ducks are produced mostly on Long 
Island, N.Y., and to a lesser degree 
in the Midwest, Massachusetts, and 

Today's poultry is pampered — mass 
produced in well-designed housing 
with automated feed and water sup- 
plies, so the birds don't have to forage 
for part of their meals as they did in 
the past. 

Young poultry is marketed at a 
very tender age. Broiler-fryers are 
ready for market in about 9 weeks, 
and 20-pound torn turkeys usually in 
about 5 months. 

Poultry is an excellent source of 
high-quality protein, with the amino 
acids essential to growth and health. 
Weight watchers are partial to chicken 
and turkey because an average serv- 
ing contains fewer calories than an 
average serving of most other meats. 
Poultry also provides many other 
essential nutrients including iron, thia- 
mine (vitamin Bi), riboflavin (vita- 
min B 2 ), and niacin. 

As a protection to the American 

Violet B. Crosby is a Home Economist in the 
Labels, Standards, and Packaging Branch, Tech- 
nical Services Division, Consumer and Marketing 

Ashley R. Gulich is Chief of the Standardization 
Branch, Poultry Division, Consumer and Market- 
ing Service. 


people, Congress has enacted two 
laws requiring that poultry products 
be safe for your family. 

The Poultry Products Inspection 
Act — passed in 1957 — required Fed- 
eral inspection of all poultry moving 
in interstate commerce. 

The newer law, the Wholesome 
Poultry Products Act, enacted in 1968 
and amending the previous act, goes 
even further. It requires inspection — 
at least as good as Federal inspection — 
of all poultry regardless of whether it 
moves in interstate commerce. Under 
this new law, the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture provides cash assistance 
and technical advice to help States 
develop inspection programs equal to 
the Federal program. If a State does 
not develop an adequate inspection 
program, all poultry processing plants 
within that State will then come under 
mandatory Federal inspection. 

In these ways, you are protected 
wherever you might buy your poultry. 

Poultry inspection involves many 
aspects. Processing plants must meet 
strictest requirements for cleanliness; 
they must have adequate equipment 
and procedures to do a good job. 
Inspectors — who are either doctors 
of veterinary medicine or are trained 
specialists under a veterinarian's super- 
vision — keep constant watch over the 
plant, over the processing operation, 
over every bird that comes through 
the plant. 

Any birds found to be unhealthy 
or not fit for eating are removed 
immediately from the processing line 
and condemned for use as human 
food. Inspectors also make sure that 







the products are not adulterated and 
are truthfully labeled — all labels must 
be federally approved before they can 
be used. 

In addition, official laboratories run 
continuous tests on poultry products 
to guard against bacterial or chemical 

USDA also has specified minimum 
meat requirements for many processed 
poultry products. For example, if a 
product is labeled "Turkey Pie" it 
must contain at least 14 percent 
cooked, deboned turkey meat. Chicken 
dinners must contain at least 18 per- 
cent cooked, deboned chicken meat; 
chicken a la king, at least 20 percent 
meat; and chicken noodles or dump- 
lings, at least 15 percent meat. 

When you see the round USDA 
inspection mark on poultry — and on 
poultry products like pot pies and 
prepared dinners — you can be sure 
they have passed strict standards for 
wholesomeness, proper preparation, 
and labeling. 

Another valuable USDA service is 
grading poultry for quality. This is a 
voluntary program — paid for by proc- 
essors at no cost to the taxpayer. The 
official USDA grade shield is your 
assurance of quality. 

Before poultry can be graded, it 
must first be federally inspected for 

The poultry grader — a Federal or 
Federal-State quality expert — exam- 
ines each bird for conformation (over- 
all shape and appearance), meatiness, 
amount of fat, and the presence or 
absence of defects (torn skin, discolor- 
ations, or bruises). 

Grades are based on nationally 
uniform standards of quality, so that 
U.S. Grade A, for example, in New 
York means the same as U.S. Grade A 
in San Francisco. USDA standardiza- 
tion specialists constandy work to keep 
the standards up to date with current 
marketing practices and consumer 

The top grade for poultry, and the 
only one commonly found in stores, is 
U.S. Grade A. Grade A birds have 
good overall shape and appearance. 


They are meaty, have a well-developed 
layer of fat in the skin, and are 
practically free from defects such as 
cuts and bruises. 

Official standards also provide for 
U.S. Grade B and U.S. Grade C 
poultry. These birds are not as at- 
tractive as Grade A. They may have 
defects and faulty conformation, and 
could be lacking in fleshing and fat 

Because our poultry today is quite 
uniform in quality, most birds are 
U.S. Grade A. Birds graded below 
U.S. Grade A are usually sold without 
the grademark in supermarkets, or 
are used in processed foods where 
appearance is not important. 

Until recently, the grademark was 
found only on poultry or poultry 
parts. In 1965, grade standards were 
developed for raw, ready-to-cook 
poultry rolls, roasts, or bars which can 
now be graded U.S. Grade A if they 
meet USDA standards. 

In addition to making sure the 

poultry you buy has been inspected 
and graded, you will also want to 
know the age of the bird. Age indicates 
tenderness and suggests ways to cook 
the poultry. 

Poultry is usually labeled according 
to age with the following terms: 

• Mature chickens may be labeled — 
mature chicken, old chicken, hen, 
stewing chicken, or fowl. 

• Mature turkeys may be labeled — 
mature turkey, yearling turkey, or 
old turkey. 

• Mature ducks, geese, and guineas 
may be labeled — mature or old. 

• Young chickens may be labeled — 
young chicken, Rock Cornish game 
hen, broiler, fryer, roaster, or capon. 

• Young turkeys may be labeled — 
as young turkey, fryer-roaster, young 
hen, or young torn. 

• Young ducks may be labeled — 
as duckling, young duckling, broiler 
duckling, fryer duckling, or as roast- 
er duckling. 

Turkey, ready to serve. 

You can usually save money if you 
buy whole poultry and cut it into 
serving pieces yourself. Whole poultry 
usually is a few cents less per pound 
than cut-up poultry. 

It is also more economical to buy 
large turkeys rather than small ones. 
Not only do the larger birds usually 
sell for a few cents less per pound, but 
they also have a larger proportion of 
meat to bone, so you get a bargain 
two ways. Smaller turkeys, however, 
do offer more varieties of cooking than 
large ones. 

How often have you asked yourself, 
"How much poultry should I buy for 
my family?" Naturally, the amount 
depends not only upon the kind of 
poultry you choose, but also on the 
cooking method, the number and size 
of the servings, and whether or not 
leftovers are desired. 

For whole broiler-fryers, stewing 
chicken, turkey, duckling, or goose, 
the average serving per person is 
about 3 ounces of cooked meat (with- 
out bone), and you will need to buy 
}i pound for each serving. For a bone- 
less turkey roast, count on only % 
pound per serving. If you are buying 
cut-up chicken, these are the serving 
sizes often used : one breast half, one 
leg, two drumsticks, two thighs, or 
four wings. 

Remember that poultry, like all 
meats, is perishable; therefore, proper 
storage is important. So buy frozen, 
chilled, or smoked poultry only from 
freezer or refrigerator cases in order 
to obtain a top-quality product. It 
is wise to examine packages to be sure 
the wrappers are neither torn nor 
broken. Any frozen poultry should be 
solidly frozen when purchased. 

Chilled raw poultry should be stored 
prompdy in the coldest part of the 
refrigerator and used within 1 to 2 
days. The transparent wrap on pack- 
aged poultry is designed to control 
moisture loss, and is suitable for short 
term home refrigerator or freezer 
storage, as well as storage in the retail 

If poultry is purchased in market 
paper, unwrap it and remove the 


giblets. Place the poultry on a platter 
or tray, cover with wax paper or 
plastic wrap, cover giblets, and refrig- 
erate separately. 

Frozen raw poultry should be kept in 
the freezer at 0° F. or lower. It is 
important that all poultry be packaged 
in moisture and vapor resistant wrap- 
ping or bag, or in suitable rigid con- 
tainers, and kept solidly frozen until 
ready to use. Be sure to label all the 
packages with the date and kind of 

The maximum length of time that 
frozen poultry will maintain quality 
in the home freezer depends on the 
quality of the poultry at the time 
that it's frozen, the kind of packaging 
or container used, and the storage 

Suggested maximum storage times 
to maintain quality in frozen poultry 
in the home freezer at 0° F. are: 

Uncooked poultry: Months 

Chicken and turkey 12 

Duck and goose 6 

Giblets 3 

Cooked poultry (slices or pieces): 

Covered with broth or gravy 6 

Not covered with broth or gravy 1 

Poultry meat sandwiches 1 

Cooked poultry dishes 6 

Fried chicken 4 

Smoked poultry should be stored in the 
refrigerator. If it is to be held longer 
than 2 weeks, be certain it is wrapped 
in moisture- and vapor-proof paper or 
aluminum foil, or placed in plastic 
bags and frozen. 

Freeze-dried poultry may be held at 
room temperature up to 2 years if the 
container has a good, solid seal. Of 
course, quality of the product will de- 
pend on condition of the raw poultry, 
care with which it was freeze-dried, 
and the seal of the container. 

Canned poultry should be kept in a 
dry place at room temperature (not 
above 70° F.). It may be stored for a 

Ready-to-cook, chilled poultry is in- 
deed ready to cook — merely rinse in 
cool water, drain, and pat dry; then 
prepare, using your favorite cooking 
method. If the poultry is to be fried, 
broiled, or oven-browned, make sure 
it is dry to prevent spattering. 

Frozen poultry usually is thawed 
before cooking. Whole poultry (frozen 
without giblets) or frozen poultry parts 
may be cooked without thawing. Cook- 
ing time will be longer than for un- 
frozen poultry. Do not thaw com- 
mercially frozen stuffed poultry before 
cooking. Do follow the manufacturer's 
instructions printed on the label. 

As soon as possible after serving, 
separate any leftover poultry and stuff- 
ing. Place each in a covered container, 
or loosely wrap each in a moisture- and 
vapor-proof wrapping or container 
and store in the coldest part of the 
refrigerator. If you plan to hold them 
longer than 1 or 2 days, they may be 
frozen if they are properly packaged 
in airtight containers. 

Promptly refrigerate any leftover 
broth or gravy, and use within 1 or 2 
days. Reheat gravy and broth to boil- 
ing before eating. 

There are three recommended meth- 
ods of thawing poultry. The method 
used will depend on the length of time 
and the amount of space which is 
available for thawing. 

• Thawing in the Refrigerator - — Place 
poultry, still in its original wrap, on 
tray or platter. Thaw in refrigerator 
for 1 or 2 days until pliable. Turkeys 
weighing 18 pounds or over may take 
3 days to thaw. 

• Thawing in Cold Water — If it needs 
to be thawed on short notice, the 
poultry should be placed, in its water- 
tight wrapper, in cold water. Change 
the water often to hasten thawing. 
Time required will be about 1 hour 
for small birds and up to 6 or 8 hours 
for large turkeys. Thaw until pliable. 

Or you can use a combination 
method — partially thaw poultry in 
the refrigerator and complete the 
thawing in cold water. 

• Thawing at Room Temperature — If 
it is not practical to use the thawing 
methods mentioned, you may safely 
thaw poultry in a cool room away from 
heat. To keep the surface temperature 
of the bird cool during thawing, the 
following precautions are recom- 
mended : Leave poultry in its original 

plastic wrapping, and place it in a 
closed, double wall paper bag or wrap 
the poultry in newspaper and set in a 
corrugated box. Thaw until poultry 
becomes pliable. 

As with all foods, use care and 
cleanliness in handling fresh-chilled, 
frozen, or cooked poultry to guard 
against food poisoning bacteria. 

Before cooking poultry, the main 
concern in handling is avoiding pos- 
sible cross-contamination to other foods 
or surfaces in the kitchen. For this 
reason, after touching raw poultry 
you should wash your hands before 
working with other foods. Always 
clean and sanitize any food handling 
equipment, such as knives and cutting 
boards, after they have contacted raw 
meat or poultry prior to using them 

Do not partially cook poultry 1 day 
and complete the cooking the follow- 
ing day. This is not considered a good 
procedure, as it would give bacteria 
an additional opportunity to grow. If 
staphylococci are present, a toxin is 
produced which can cause food poison- 
ing. To avoid this danger, completely 
cook the bird at one time. 

How can you cook poultry? How 
can't you cook it would be a better 
question. It can be baked, broiled, 
roasted, fried, braised, barbecued, 
stuffed, stewed, or cooked with other 
foods such as vegetables, rice, and 
special seasonings for delicious gour- 
met dishes. 

Young, tender-meated poultry is 
most suitable for barbecuing, frying, 
broiling, or roasting. Mature, less 
tender-meated poultry may be pre- 
ferred for stewing and baking, for use 
in casseroles, soups, and salads. No 
matter how you choose to serve it, you 
are sure to please your family because 
poultry is one of the most popular 
foods — for young and old alike. 

Roast Whole Poultry — All kinds of 
poultry — chicken, turkey, duck, goose, 
and guinea — are delicious roasted. 
Whole poultry may be roasted stuffed 
or unstuffed. 

To prepare it for roasting, rinse the 


poultry, drain, and pat dry. Rub 
cavity lighdy with salt, if desired. It is 
not necessary to salt poultry which is 
to be stuffed. 

Fill wishbone (neck) area lightly 
with stuffing. Fasten neck skin to back 
of bird with skewer. Stuff body cavity 
lighdy. Tuck legs under bird, using 
skewers or string, and shape wings 
akimbo-style — that is, bring wing dps 
onto back. Insert a meat thermometer 
in the inner thigh muscle. 

Place poultry, breast-side up, in a 
shallow pan. If desired, brush skin 
with oil or melted fat. To roast poultry 
halves, quarters, pieces, or roasts, 
place skin-side up in a shallow pan. If 
poultry browns early in the roasting 
period, cover the breast and drum- 
stick lighdy with aluminum foil or 
moisten a thin cloth with fat and place 
it over the breast and legs to prevent 
overbrowning. Baste with drippings, 
if desired. Ducks, geese, and guineas 
have sufficient fat so that they need 
no basting. 

At the half or two-thirds point of 
roasting, cut the string or skin to 
release the bird's legs. The meat is 
done when the temperature reaches 
180° to 185° F. Also check the stuffing 
temperature; this should be at least 
165° F. 

A second way to test for doneness is 
to press the fleshy part of the drum- 
stick with protected fingers. 

When done the meat will feel soft, the 

drumstick will move easily, and the 
leg joint will give readily. 

Braising Poultry — To change oven 
roasting to braising, just cover the 
poultry while it is cooking. A small 
amount of water may be added, if 
desired. Braising is suitable for all 
poultry, but it is excellent for mature, 
less tender birds. Cooking the poultry 
covered and with a small amount of 
moisture tenderizes the meat and also 
brings out its rich flavor. 

Broiling Poultry — In these low-fat, 
low-calorie times, nothing beats broiled 
poultry. Young chickens, Cornish 
game hens, small broiler-fryer turkeys, 
ducklings, and guineas can be broiled 
satisfactorily. Pieces are seasoned, 
placed in a broiler pan, and brushed 
with melted fat or cooking oil. Follow 
manufacturer's direction for the cor- 
rect distance to place the broiler pan 
from the heating element. Broil 20 to 
30 minutes on one side or until it's 
browned. Then turn, brush with fat 
or oil and broil until done, about 15 
to 25 minutes longer. Since turkey 
and duck pieces ace thicker, they 
require a longer broiling time, about 
30 minutes on each side. 

Rotisserie Cooking — Great for the 
family table is young poultry cooked 
on special rotisserie equipment that 
turns the bird slowly on a rotary spit 
over or under direct heat. 

To mount a whole bird, attach the 
neck skin with a skewer to the back 

Roasting Guide for Poultry 


Weight, ready 
to cook 


roasting time 

at 325° F. 


internal temperature 
when done 

Chickens, whole, stuffed: 

Broilers or fryers liA to 2y 2 

Roasters 2% to 4Vfe 

Capons 5 to 8 

Ducks 4 to 6 

Geese 6 to 8 

8 to 12 


Whole, stuffed 6 to 8 

8 to 12 
12 to 16 
16 to 20 
20 to 24 

Halves, quarters, and pieces 3 to 8 

8 to 12 

Boneless roasts 3 to 10 

1 to 2 

2 to 3W> 
2% to 3y 2 

2 to 3 

3 to 3i/o 
31/2 to 41/2 

180 to 185 in thigh 
180 to 185 in thigh 
180 to 185 in thigh 
180 to 185 in thigh 
180 to 185 in thigh 

170 to 175 in center 


When meat thermometer is used in roasting poultry, it should be inserted into center of inner 

thigh muscle. 

of the body. Tie or skewer wings close 
to the body. Insert the spit through 
the length of the body and tighten 
holding prongs. Tie tail and drum- 
sticks firmly to the rod. When properly 
balanced, the bird will rotate evenly 
as the spit is turned. 

More than one bird can usually be 
cooked at a time if the spit is long 
enough. Mount the birds in opposite 
directions (neck to neck) to maintain 
good balance on the spit. Brush skin 
with oil or melted fat. Follow manu- 
facturer's directions for rotisserie tem- 
perature setting and time. Test for 

doneness as you would for roast 

Frying Poultry — Frying is America's 
favorite method of cooking poultry. 
Crisp fried poultry is always a treat, 
whether it's young broiler-fryer chick- 
ens, capons, Cornish game hens, 
fryer-roaster turkeys, ducklings, or 

You can fry poultry without a 
coating if pieces are thoroughly dried. 
However, coatings give a crisp surface 
and help to retain moisture in the 

Suitable coatings to use with poultry 


are quick and easy to make: Flour — 
combine % cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 
and % teaspoon of pepper; batter- 
combine 1 egg, % cup milk, 1 cup 
flour, and 1 teaspoon salt; crumb or 
cereal — use fine dry breadcrumbs or 
crushed cereal flakes on batter-dipped 
poultry pieces. 

Perhaps the easiest way to fry 
chicken is to ovenfry the pieces. This 
is the reliable "put it in the oven and 
forget it for a half hour method." 
Place poultry pieces in a shallow pan 
containing % inch melted fat; turn 
pieces to coat both sides with fat. 
Cook at 400° F. for 30 minutes, turn 
and cook 20 to 30 minutes longer 
until crisp and tender. 

When the hostess wants to shine, 
serving crisp french-fried (deep fat 
fried) poultry always makes a hit. 
Place coated poultry in enough hot 
fat (365° F.) to cover. Fry only a few 
pieces at a time. Serving-size pieces 
take about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Another great crisp way with poul- 
try is to panfry the pieces. Place 
poultry skin-side down in about % 
inch of fat preheated in a heavy 
frying pan. Cook uncovered 15 to 25 
minutes on each side or until poultry 
is tender and crisp. For turkey or 
duckling, cover tightly after browning 
and cook slowly 45 to 60 minutes 
until tender — turn occasionally. 

Simmering or Stewing Poultry — An 
excellent cooking method for mature, 
less tender poultry is simmering (or 
stewing). Young poultry may be 
cooked by this method, but will lack 
the full rich flavor of mature poultry. 
Cover poultry with water and simmer 
until meat is tender. If you desire, 
brown the pieces in a little hot fat in a 
frying pan before serving. Tender 
meat from cooked poultry adds ele- 
gance to many easy-to-prepare dishes, 
such as casseroles, souffles, pies, a la 
kings, sandwiches, salads, etc. 

In the recipes, the kinds of poultry 
(turkey, chicken, duck, guinea, or 
goose) can be used interchangeably, or 
you may substitute rabbit for poultry. 
Some recipes contain shortcut methods 
of preparation. 



About 1 quart stuffing 

% cup chopped celery 

2 tablespoons chopped onion 

3 tablespoons poultry fat, butter, or 

3 tablespoons chopped parsley 

Y% teaspoon poultry seasoning 

H teaspoon salt 

y» teaspoon pepper 

Yi cup poultry broth or milk (optional) 

1 quart soft bread cubes 

Slowly cook the celery and onions in 
fat until tender. 

Blend in parsley, poultry seasoning, 
salt, pepper, and broth* or milk. 

Pour mixture over bread and toss 
lightly until well blended. 

See earlier instructions for stuffing 
poultry, or bake in a separate pan. If 
stuffing is baked in a separate pan, 
baste with drippings for added flavor. 

Allow about }i cup stuffing for each 
pound of ready-to-cook poultry. 

Oyster Stuffing: Omit the celery and 
reduce parsley and onion to 1 table- 
spoon each. Add % pint oysters, heated 
in their own liquid and drained. 

Nut Stuffing: Omit the parsley and 
poultry seasonings and add % cup of 
chopped nut meats — pecans, roasted 
almonds, filberts, or cooked chestnuts. 

Cornbread Stuffing: Use cornbread 
crumbs in place of bread cubes. 


{moderately thick) 
About 2 cups gravy 

}{ cup flour 

2 to 4 tablespoons poultry fat from drip- 

2 cups poultry broth, milk, or water 

Blend flour into fat. Brown over low 
heat. (If brown drippings are used, it 
is not necessary to brown the flour.) 

Add liquid slowly, while stirring 

Cook until gravy thickens, stirring 

Season to taste. 

For variety: Giblet gravy — Add ){ 
cup chopped, cooked giblets. 


6 servings 

6 slices hot turkey 

12 slices hot baked stuffing 

2 cups hot poultry gravy 

Place the turkey between 2 slices of 

Cover with gravy. 
Serve immediately. 


{For Hot Turkey Sandwich) 

y* cup chopped onion 

y% cup chopped celery 

}{ cup turkey fat, butter, or margarine 

1 cup turkey broth (unsalted) 

1 teaspoon salt* 

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 

2 eggs 

2 quarts cubed bread 

Slowly cook the onion and celery in 
fat until tender. 

Add broth, salt, poultry seasoning, 
and egg. Mix well. 

Pour mixture over bread and toss 
lightly until well blended. 

Pack lightly into greased loaf pans. 

Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven 
(moderate) for 45 minutes. 

Cool slightly. Remove from pan and 
slice into 12 slices. 


6 servings, about % cup each 

3 cups diced cooked chicken 
}i cup chopped sweet pickles 
1 cup diced celery 

1 teaspoon chopped onion 

1 tablespoon sweet pickle liquid 

% cup mayonnaise 

1 teaspoon salt 

}i teaspoon prepared mustard 

Combine all ingredients, toss lightly. 


Serve on crisp salad greens. 

For variety, Hawaiian salad: Use 
pineapple tidbits in place of pickle 
and onion. Use 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
in place of pickle juice. Top salad 
with toasted almond slivers. 

*If seasoned broth is used, reduce salt in 


10 cutlets, % cup each 

1J4 cups milk 

)i cup flour 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine 

2 cups diced, cooked turkey 

2 cups diced avocado 

1 egg 

% cup fine, dry breadcrumbs 

\\i teaspoons salt 

% teaspoon pepper 

1 teaspoon finely chopped onion 
}i teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
Fat for frying 


}i cup flour 

2 beaten eggs 

3 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs 

Gradually stir milk into flour. 

Add butter or margarine. Slowly 
cook over low heat (or hot water) 
until very thick, stirring constantly. 

Combine sauce, turkey, avocado, 
egg, % cup of crumbs, salt, pepper, 
onion, and the Worcestershire sauce. 
Chill. (Do not hold mixture more 
than a few hours.) 

Shape into cutlets. 

Roll cutlets in flour, gently dip 
into beaten egg, and then in crumbs. 

Fry in deep fat at 375° F. until 
golden brown. Drain and serve im- 


6 servings, about % cup each 

VA cups chicken broth (unsalted) 

>i cup flour 

)i cup chicken fat, butter, or margarine 

1 teaspoon salt* 

}{ teaspoon pepper 

2 tablespoons chopped onion 
l}i cups chopped cooked chicken 

1 cup drained, canned, whole kernel corn 
# cupshredded cheese (orfinely chopped) 

2 tablespoons chopped pimiento 
}i cup fine, dry breadcrumbs 

1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine 

Gradually stir broth into flour. 

Add fat, salt, pepper, and onion. 
Cook slowly until thickened, stir often. 

Blend chicken, corn, cheese, and 
pimiento into the sauce. 

*If seasoned broth is used, reduce salt in 


USDA inspectors check a chicken at poultry processing plant in Delaware. 

Place in a 1 -quart baking pan or 

Top with breadcrumbs mixed with 
butter or margarine. 

Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven 
(moderate) for about 45 minutes or 
until the crumbs are brown and the 
mixture is hot. 


6 servings, about }i cup each 

3 tablespoons chopped onion 

1 cup diced celery 

Yi cup diced carrots 

% cup frozen or fresh green peas 

1 cup turkey gravy, moderately thick 

2 cups chopped, cooked turkey 
Yt cup sour cream 

}i teaspoon salt* 

1 tablespoon parsley flakes 

Y* cup fine, dry breadcrumbs 

1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine 

Cook onion, celery, carrots, and peas 
in small amount of water until tender, 
about 15 minutes. Drain. 

Combine vegetables with gravy, 
turkey, sour cream, salt, and parsley 

Place in a 1 -quart baking pan or 

Top with crumbs mixed with butter 
or margarine. 

Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven 
(moderate) for 30 minutes or until 
crumbs are brown and mixture is hot. 

(This is an excellent way for using 
leftover cooked vegetables, gravy, and 
cooked turkey.) 


6 servings, about }i cup each 

i cup chopped onion 
Yt cup turkey fat, butter, or margarine 
3 tablespoons flour 
V/i cups turkey broth (unsalted) 
Yi cup light cream or milk 
Yi teaspoon salt* 
2 teaspoons curry powder 
Y* teaspoon ginger 
3Yi cups chopped, cooked turkey 

Slowly cook the onion in fat until 
it is tender. 

Blend in the flour. 

Stir in broth and cream or milk. 
Cook mixture until it is thickened, 
stirring often. 

Add salt, curry powder, ginger, and 

Cook over low heat (or hot water) 
until hot — about 15 minutes. 

Serve over rice, chow mein noodles, 
or toast. 

♦If seasoned vegetables and gravy are used, 
reduce salt in recipe. 


•If seasoned broth is used, reduce salt in 

Rose G. Kerr 

Sawy With Seafood 
in the Store and 
Kitchen for That 
Tang of the Deep 

Did you know there are more than 
240 species of fish and shellfish sold 
in the United States? When you are 
looking for variety, they give you more 
choice than any other food group. 
You can buy fish and shellfish fresh, 
frozen, canned, cured, and in a wide 
variety of convenience and specialty 

Most varieties of fresh fish and 
shellfish, like many other foods, are 
at their best at the peak of the season. 
Your local dealer can advise you about 
seasonal offerings and help you select 
the species best suited to your needs. 
The less known types are often as 
satisfactory as the better known ones 
and are usually less expensive. 

Fresh whole or dressed fish should 
have these characteristics: odor — fresh 
and mild; eyes — bright, clear, and 
full; gills — red and free from slime; 
skin — iridescent; and flesh — firm and 
elastic, not separating from the bones. 
Fresh fillets, steaks, and chunks should 
also have a mild, fresh odor, and 
fresh-cut appearing flesh without any 
traces of browning or drying. 

Frozen fish and shellfish are avail- 
able the year round. Their packages 
should be solidly frozen and have 

little or no odor. The wrapping should 
be of a moisture-vapor-proof material 
with little or no air space between the 
seafood and the wrapping. An ice 
glaze is sometimes utilized to protect 
dressed fish, shrimp, and steaks from 
drying out. A white cottony appear- 
ance, a brownish tinge, or any dis- 
coloration in the frozen flesh indicate 
poor quality. 

Canned and cured fish and shellfish 
also are usually available the year 
round. A wide variety of canned, 
pickled, salted, smoked, and spiced 
fish and shellfish is available on the 
market today. 

Fish and shellfish are sold in many 
different forms or cuts. Learning to 
recognize these forms, and how best to 
use them, is very important in buying 
and serving fish and shellfish. Unless 
otherwise stated, most market forms of 
fish and shellfish are available both 
fresh and frozen, are usually sold by 
weight, and are ready to cook, heat, 
or serve as purchased. 

Market Forms of Fish: In this country 
"fish" means fin fish. The different 
market forms of fish are : 

Whole fish are sold just as they come 
from the water. Before cooking, the 
fish must be scaled, eviscerated, and 
usually the head, tail, and fins re- 
moved. Some small fish, like smelt, are 
often cooked with only their entrails 

Dressed fish are scaled, eviscerated, 
and sometimes the head, tail, and fins 
removed. The smaller size fish are 
called pan-dressed. 

Steaks are cross section slices from 
a large dressed fish cut % to 1 inch 
thick. A cross section of the backbone 
is usually the only bone in a steak. 
Chunks are cross sections of a large 
dressed fish. A cross section of the 
backbone is usually the only bone in a 

Single fillets, the most common type, 
are the sides of the fish cut lengthwise 
away from the backbone. They are 

Rose G. Kerr is Chief of the National Home 
Economics Research Center, Bureau of Commercial 
Fisheries, U.S. Department of the Interior. 


practically boneless and may or may 
not be skinned. Butterfly fillets are the 
two sides of the fish cut lengthwise 
away from the backbone and held 
together by the uncut flesh and skin 
of the belly. These fillets are practically 

Frozen raw or fried breaded fish 
portions are cut from frozen fish blocks, 
coated with a batter, breaded, pack- 
aged, and frozen. Portions weigh more 
than 1 % ounces and are at least % inch 
thick. Raw portions must contain not 
less than 75 percent and fried portions 
not less than 65 percent fish flesh, ac- 
cording to U.S. Department of the 
Interior (USDI) standards. They may 
be purchased raw or partially cooked.' 

Frozen fried sticks are cut from 
frozen fish blocks, coated with a batter, 
breaded, partially cooked, packaged, 
and frozen. Fried fish sticks weigh up 
to 1 }£ ounces, must be at least % inch 
thick, and contain not less than 60 per- 
cent fish flesh, according to USDI 

Canned fish are packed in a great 
variety of convenience and specialty 
items, as well as the ever popular tuna, 
salmon, and Maine sardines. 


Dressed fish 



Single fillet 

Butterfly fillet 

Tuna is packed from six species. The 
catch includes albacore, blackfin, blue- 
fin, skipjack, yellowfin, and litde tuna. 
Albacore has lighter meat than the 
others and is the only tuna permitted 
to be labeled "white meat" tuna. The 
other species are labeled "light meat" 
tuna. Canned tuna is packed in oil or 
water. In descending order of price, 
the packs of tuna are: solid, chunk, 
and flaked or grated. 

Salmon is packed from five species. 
Canned salmon is usually sold by the 
name of the fish, since there is a differ- 
ence in the color, texture, and flavor of 
the salmon. Higher priced varieties are 
deeper red in color and have a higher 
oil content. In descending order of 
price, the packs of salmon are : red or 
sockeye; chinook or king; medium red, 
silver, or coho; pink; chum or keta. 

Cured fish are processed from many 
different species. Some of the more 
common cured fish on the market are 
pickled and spiced herring; salt cod 
and salmon; smoked chubs, salmon, 
and whitefish; as well as many conven- 
ience and specialty items. 

Market Forms of Shellfish: In this 
country "shellfish" means crustaceans 
and mollusks. The crustaceans include 
crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. Clams, 
oysters, and scallops are mollusks. 

Several species of clams are widely 
used for food. On the Adantic coast, 
they are the hard, soft, and surf clams. 
On the Pacific coast, the most common 
species are the^ butter, litdeneck, razor, 
and pismo clams. The hard clams, or 
hard-shell clams, are commonly called 
"quahog" in New England, where 
"clam" generally means the soft-shell 
variety. Litdenecks and cherrystones 
are the trade names for the smaller 
sized hard clams generally served raw 
on the half shell. The larger sizes of 
hard, soft, and surf clams are called 
"chowders" and are used mainly for 
chowders and soups. Clams are sold by 
the dozen or by weight. 

Clams in the shell are just as they 
come from the water. Fresh clams 
should be alive when purchased and 
the shells should close tighdy when 
tapped. Shucked clams are the meat 

removed from the shells. The meat is 
pale to deep orange in color and has a 
fresh, mild odor. Fresh shucked clams 
are packed in little or no liquid. 

Frozen raw or fried breaded clams 
are shucked clams coated with a bat- 
ter, breaded, packaged, and frozen. 
They may be purchased raw or par- 
tially cooked. Canned clams are avail- 
able whole, minced, or in chowder, 
bouillon, broth, and nectar. 

The three principal species of crabs 
are the blue, Dungeness, and king. 
Blue crabs come from the Atlantic and 
Gulf coasts and weigh from % to 1 
pound. Dungeness crabs are from the 
Pacific coast and weigh from 1 ){ to 2}i 
pounds. King crabs come from the 
coast of Alaska and weigh from 6 to 20 
pounds. A big king crab can easily 
measure 6 feet across from the tip of 
one leg to the tip of the opposite leg. 
Growing in popularity are the stone 
crabs from Florida and the tanner 
crabs from Alaska. 

Crabs in the shell are sold fresh, 
frozen, or cooked. Fresh crabs should 
be alive and active when purchased. 
Cooked crabs are bright red and have 
a mild odor. Blue crabs are sold by 
the dozen, and Dungeness crabs are 
sold individually. 

Soft-shell crabs are molting blue 
crabs just after they have shed their 
shells and before the new shells have 
hardened. They are sold just as they 
come from the water. They should be 
alive and active when purchased. 

Frozen crab legs are the legs of 
cooked king and tanner crabs which 
have been frozen and split or cut into 
sections. The meat is white with an 
attractive red tint on the outside. 

Crab meat is the meat removed from 
cooked crabs. The meat is packed and 
chilled,. frozen, pasteurized, or canned. 
The body meat from Dungeness crab 
is white and the claw meat has a 
brownish-red tint on the outside. King 
crab meat is primarily leg meat. It is 
white with an attractive reddish tint 
on the outside. 

In descending order of price, the 
packs of blue crab are : Lump meat — 
whole lumps of white meat from the 

Northern lobster 

Spiny lobster 

two body muscles which operate the 
swimming legs; flake meat — small 
pieces of white meat from the body; 
flake and lump — a combination of the 
first two kinds; claw meat — brownish 
tinted meat from the claws. 

Northern lobsters are caught in the 
cold waters off the coast of Maine and 
Massachusetts. Off the coasts of Cali- 
fornia and Florida another shellfish is 
caught which is known locally as 
"lobster." More properly, it is a spiny 
or rock lobster. The large, heavy claws 
of the northern lobsters distinguish 
them from the spiny lobsters, which 
have no claws. Lobsters usually weigh 
from % to 4 pounds. 

Lobster Market Sizes 

Trade name Weight 

Chicken % to 1 pound 

Quarters VAtoVA pounds 

Large l'/fc to 2>5 pounds 

Jumbo Over 3 pounds 

Lobsters in the shell are sold fresh, 
frozen, or cooked. The fresh lobster 
should be alive and active when pur- 
chased. The "tail" of a live lobster 
curls under the body and does not 
hang down when the lobster is picked 
up. Cooked lobsters should be bright 
red and have a fresh, mild odor. 

Frozen spiny lobster tails are spiny 
lobsters with their heads removed, 
graded according to size, and frozen. 
Spiny lobster tails should have clean, 
white meat and no odor. The average 
market size of spiny lobster tails is 2 to 
8 ounces. 

Lobster meat is the meat removed 


from cooked lobsters. The meat is 
packed and chilled, frozen, or canned. 
It is white with an attractive reddish 
tint on the outside. 

The three principal species of oysters 
are the Eastern, Pacific, and Western. 
Eastern oysters are found or cultivated 
from Massachusetts to Texas. The 
large Pacific oysters and small Western 
oysters are found or cultivated from 
Washington to Mexico. 

Oysters in the shell are sold just as 
they come from the water. They should 
be alive when purchased. The shells 
should close tighdy when tapped. Live 
oysters are sold by the dozen. 

Shucked oysters are oysters removed 
from the shells; they should be plump 
and have a natural creamy color and 
clear liquid. Shucked oysters have a 
fresh, mild odor and are packed in 
little or no liquid. Avoid oysters with 
an excess amount of liquid because 
this indicates poor quality and careless 
handling. Shucked oysters are graded 
according to their size. 

Frozen raw or fried breaded oysters 
are shucked oysters coated with a 
batter, breaded, packaged, and frozen. 
They are available raw or partially 
cooked. Canned oysters are available 
on the market whole and as stew. 

Many people are not aware that 
scallops are a shellfish — a mollusk with 
two shells, similar to the clams and 
oysters. But in at least one respect 
scallops differ from clams and oysters 
because they are active swimmers, 
moving freely through the water and 
over the ocean floor. Actively snap- 
ping its shells together provides loco- 
motion for the scallop and results in 
development of an oversized muscle 
that's called the adductor muscle. This 
excellently flavored muscle is the only 
part eaten by Americans. 

The two principal species of scallops 
on the market are bay and sea. Large 
sea scallops are taken from the deep 
waters of the North and Middle 
Adantic. The sea scallop's shell is 
saucer shaped and sometimes grows 
as large as 8 inches across. The ad- 
ductor muscle may be as large as 
2 inches across. Small bay scallops are 


taken from inshore bays and estuaries 
from New England to the Gulf of 
Mexico. The shell of the bay scallop 
is much smaller than the sea scallop. 
Its maximum width is about 4 inches. 
In shape it resembles the sea scallop 
except that the shell is grooved and 
has serrated or scalloped edges. The 
adductor muscle of the bay scallop is 
about a half inch across. Increasing in 
popularity are calico scallops from 
Florida and sea scallops from Alaska. 

Shucked scallops are the adductor 
muscles removed from the shells. The 
meat is a creamy white, light tan, 
orange, or pinkish. Fresh scallops 
should have a sweetish odor and be 
packed in litde or no liquid. Frozen 
raw or fried breaded scallops are 
shucked scallops coated with a batter, 
breaded, packaged, and frozen. Fried 
scallops must contain not less than 
60 percent scallop meat, according to 
USDI standards. They are available 
raw or partially cooked. 

Kinds of shrimp in the United States 
are common or white shrimp, which is 
greenish-gray; brown or Brazilian 
shrimp, which is brownish-red; pink 
or coral shrimp; and Alaska, Califor- 
nia, and Maine varieties, which vary 
in color and are relatively small. 
Although raw shrimp range in color 
from greenish-gray to brownish-red, 
when cooked they all take on an 
attractive reddish tint. There is very 
little difference in the appearance and 
flavor of the cooked shrimp. Shrimp 







are caught in all our coastal waters 
from Maine to Alaska, with the bulk 
of the catch coming from the Gulf. 
Shrimp are sold according to size, the 
larger the size the higher the price. 

Headless shrimp are, of course, 
shrimp with the heads removed and 
are graded according to size. Fresh 
shrimp have a fresh, mild odor and 
firm meat. "Green shrimp" does not 
refer to the color of the shrimp but is 
the term used by the trade to describe 
raw shrimp. 

Peeled and cleaned shrimp are 
headless shrimp with the shell and 
intestinal tract removed. They may be 
sold raw or cooked. The cooked shrimp 
should have an attractive reddish tint 
and a mild odor. They may be pur- 
chased fresh, frozen, and canned. 

Frozen raw or fried breaded shrimp 
are peeled and cleaned shrimp coated 
with a batter, breaded, packaged, and 
frozen. Breaded raw shrimp must con- 
tain not less than 50 percent shrimp 
meat, according to USDI standards. 
They are available raw or partially 

Inspection, Standards, Grades: The 
U.S. Department of the Interior, 
through the Bureau of Commercial 
Fisheries, makes available an official 
inspection service for all the types of 
the processed fishery products — fresh, 
frozen, canned, and cured. The service 
is voluntary, offered upon a fee-for- 
service basis. 

Under continuous inspection, one 
or more inspectors are assigned to a 
processing plant whenever it is operat- 
ing. They make continuous checks on 
quality of the raw product, as well as 

plant conditions under which the 
product is being prepared, processed, 
and packed. This service is made 
available only if the plant meets rigid 
sanitary requirements for facilities, 
equipment, and raw material. 

Products packed in any plant oper- 
ated under the continuous inspection 
program, and in compliance with 
USDI inspection regulations, may be 
labeled with the official USDI in- 
spection shield which carries the state- 
ment "Packed Under Continuous In- 
spection of the U.S. Department of 
the Interior." 

Grade standards have been estab- 
lished by the Bureau of Commercial 
Fisheries, U.S. Department of the 
Interior, for a total of 15 processed 
fishery products. 

Quality grades for fishery products 
are Grade A, B, C, and substandard. 
The grade most widely sold in the 
stores is Grade A. It is produced in the 
greatest volume and retailers have 
found that this high quality product 
pleases their customers. 

• Grade A means top or best quality. 
Grade A products are uniform in size, 
practically free from blemishes and 
defects, and possess a good flavor. 

• Grade B means good quality. Grade 
B products may not be as uniform in 
size or as free from blemishes or defects 
as Grade A products. This grade may 
be termed a general commercial grade, 
and is quite suitable for most purposes. 

• Grade C means fairly good quality. 
Grade C products are just as whole- 
some and may be as nutritious as the 
higher grades. They have a definite 


value as a thrifty buy for use in dishes 
where appearance may not be quite 
so important. 

If a product carries a grade label A, 
B, or C, it must meet quality require- 
ments of the USDI Grade Standards. 

Any fishery products packed under 
continuous inplant inspection of the 
U.S. Department of the Interior are 
permitted to use the prefix "U.S." 
with the grade designation, such as 
U.S. Grade A. 

The brand name on processed fishery 
products — fresh, frozen, canned, and 
cured — is also an indication of quality. 
Processors of nationally advertised 
products make every effort to maintain 
the same quality year after year. Many 
stores, particularly chainstores, pack 
under their own name or private label. 

Buying Tips: The amount of fish or 
shellfish to buy per serving varies with 
the recipe to be used, size of serving, 
and amount of bone or shell in the 
product. Allow approximately 3 ounces 
of cooked, boneless fish or shellfish per 
serving — a little less for small children 
and a little more for adolescent boys 
and for men. 

In Washington, D.C., early in 1969 
a shrimp price comparison was made 

that should be of interest to you as a 
buyer. Raw, headless shrimp in the 
shell was selling for $1.38 a pound. It 
yields about 8 ounces of cooked, peeled, 
and cleaned shrimp. Therefore, it 
would require 2 pounds costing $2.76 
($1 .38 x 2) to yield a pound of cooked, 
peeled, and cleaned shrimp of the same 
size which was selling in the same mar- 
ket for 69 cents for 4 ounces or a toted 
of $2.76 ($0.69 x 4)— and you do not 
have to peel, clean, and cook this 
shrimp. This cost comparison illus- 
trates how some convenience foods can 
save you time without increasing your 
food budget. 

Be sure to check the4abels on canned, 
frozen, and cured packaged fishery 
products. Besides describing contents 
and weight of the package, the label 
may tell the grade, size, and species; 
other ingredients added; number of 
servings; cooking or heating directions; 
and recipes or serving ideas. 

Home Care and Storage: Use fish and 
shellfish as soon as you can. If storage 
is necessary, a rule of thumb to remem- 
ber is the lower the temperature the 
slower the deterioration. 

Fresh fishery products should be 
placed in the coldest part of the refrig- 
erator as soon as possible after pur- 

Approximate Yield and Approximate Amount to Purchase Per Serving 

Fish and shellfish i 

Yield Amount to 

(percent) purchase 


Fish and shellfish as Yield 
purchased (percent) 

Amount to 

Fish Whole 27 

Dressed or pan- 
dressed 38 

Fillets, steaks, 

and chunks 61 

Portions and 

sticks 90 

Pickled and 

spiced 100 

Salted 72 

Smoked 66 

Canned tuna 100 

Canned salmon. . 81 
Clams In the shell: 

Hard 14 

Soft 29 

Shucked 48 

Breaded, raw or 

fried 84 

Canned minced 

clams 100 

Crabs In the shell: 

Blue... 14 

Dungeness ... 24 

Soft-shell 66 


3i/ 2 


4i/ 2 









King crab 

legs 52 6 

Cooked meat 97 314 

Canned meat 85 3y s 

Lobsters In the shell 25 12 

Spiny lobster 

tails 51 6 

Cooked meat 91 3% 

Oysters In the shell 12 25 

Shucked 48 6M> 

Breaded, raw or 

fried ■. 88 3y 2 

Canned whole 100 3 

Scallops Shucked 63 5 

Breaded, raw or 

fried 87 3V4 

Shrimp Headless 50 6 

Peeled and 

cleaned 62 5 

Cooked, peeled, 

and cleaned. .. . 100 3Vi 
Breaded, raw 

or fried 86 3y 2 


whole 100 3 


chase. A refrigerator temperature of 
35° to 40° F. is needed to maintain a 
quality product. It is a good idea to 
have a refrigerator thermometer so you 
can check the temperature periodically. 

Prepackaged fish and shellfish may 
be stored in the refrigerator in the 
original packaging. These wrappings 
or containers are designed for short 
time refrigeration. Fresh fish and shell- 
fish wrapped in butcher paper should 
be unwrapped, placed on a plate or 
tray, and covered with aluminum foil 
or plastic wrap before refrigerating. 
Do not hold fresh fish or shellfish in the 
refrigerator longer than 1 or 2 days 
before cooking. 

Frozen fishery products should be 
placed in the freezer or frozen food 
compartment of the refrigerator imme- 
diately after purchase, unless they are 
to be thawed for cooking. A freezer 
temperature of 0° F. or below is needed 
to maintain quality products. Since 
frozen food compartments of some 
home refrigerators are not designed to 
maintain a temperature of 0° F. or 
below, fishery products held there will 
maintain their high quality for only a 
few days. 

Freezing is an excellent method of 
preserving fish and shellfish. It can be 
done simply and effectively at home. 
Freezing does not improve quality, so 
freeze only high quality fresh fish and 
shellfish. Keep clean all fish and shell- 
fish to be frozen, and anything that 
touches it, because freezing does not 
sterilize the fish and shellfish. The 
extreme cold simply slows down the 
changes which affect the quality or 
cause spoilage. 

Usually it is best to prepare fish and 
shellfish for cooking before freezing. 
Less freezer space is required when all 
the waste has been removed, and the 
packages can be sized according to 
your family's needs. 

Protect any seafood to be frozen by 
wrapping or packaging it carefully in 
moisture-vapor-proof packaging ma- 
terial. Suit the packaging, such as 
bags, cartons, containers, and wrap- 
pings, to the kind, shape, size, and 
consistency of the product. Proper 

packaging prevents air from entering 
the package and causing dehydration, 
oxidation, and freezer burn. Label 
each package with the date, kind, and 
type of product, and the weight or 
number of servings. 

Freeze at 0° F. or below, following 
directions that came with your freezer. 
Store frozen seafood at 0° F. or below. 
For maximum quality do not hold 
raw, frozen fishery products in the 
freezer longer than 4 to 6 months. 

Cooked fishery products may be 
stored either in the refrigerator or 
freezer. If stored in the refrigerator, 
cooked fish or shellfish should be 
placed in a covered container. Do not 
hold cooked seafood in the refrigerator 
longer than 3 or 4 days. It may also 
be stored in the freezer if packaged in 
a moisture- vapor- proof material. For 
best quality, do not hold cooked fish 
or shellfish in the freezer longer than 
2 or 3 months. 

Canned fish should be stored in a 
cool, dry place. It should not be stored 
longer than a year. 

Pickled, salted, smoked, and spiced 
fishery products should be stored in 
the refrigerator. Cured fishery prod- 
ucts will keep for several weeks in the 

Thaw fish and shellfish just before 
cooking. Refrigerator thawing is best. 
Allow 24 hours for thawing a 1 -pound 
package. If quicker thawing is neces- 
sary, place the wrapped package under 
cold running water to thaw. Allow 
about an hour for thawing a 1 -pound 
package. Do not thaw fish or shellfish 
at room temperature or in warm 

Frozen breaded fishery products 
should not be thawed before cooking. 
Frozen fillets, steaks, and shrimp may 
be cooked without thawing if addi- 
tional cooking time is allowed. Fillets, 
steaks, or shrimp to be breaded or 
stuffed should be thawed. 

Tips on Cooking: Fish and shellfish 
are an excellent source of high quality 
protein and also provide minerals and 
vitamins so necessary for good nutri- 
tion. You can prepare fishery products 
in an amazing variety of ways — such 


as baked, broiled, fried, poached, 
grilled, and steamed. In planning 
menus, seafood can be the star in any 
course — appetizer, cocktail, soup, or 
salad, as well as the main dish. 

Although raw fish is enjoyed in 
various countries of the world, cooking 
fish and shellfish is necessary to make 
it acceptable for most Americans. You 
can easily learn to cook any seafood 
so it will be tender, flavorful, moist, 
and appetizing in appearance. Just 
use a moderate temperature and short 
cooking time — and you have won the 

Fish and shellfish are cooked to 
develop flavor and to soften the small 
amount of connective tissue present. 
Seafood is naturally tender. Cooking 
it at too high a temperature or for too 
long a time toughens it, dries it out, 
and destroys the fine natural flavor. 

How can you tell when seafood is 
cooked? Raw fishery products have a 
watery, translucent look. During cook- 
ing the watery juices become milky 
colored, giving the flesh an opaque, 
whitish tint. This change in color is 
quite unmistakable. When the flesh is 
opaque in the center of the thickest 
part, the fish is cooked. At this point 
the flesh will flake easily when tested 
with a fork and will separate readily 
from the bones. 

Cooked fish is tender and delicate; 
handle it as little and as gently as 
possible during and after cooking to 
preserve its appearance. Also, serve 
it as soon as possible after cooking. 
Holding cooked seafood at serving 
temperature is the same thing as over- 

Any of the basic cooking methods 
may be used. You may vary these 
methods by using different seasonings, 
marinades, sauces, and stuffings. 

Baking is one of the simplest ways 
to cook fish and shellfish. Once in the 
oven, the seafood needs litde attention. 
"Bake it easy" is the most important 
guide to follow. 

Fish and shellfish will be at their 
finest when cooked in a preheated, 
moderate oven, at 350° F. for a 
relatively short time. This keeps the 


moisture and flavor in the seafood. 
Fishery products not baked in a sauce 
or with a topping are basted with 
melted butter or margarine to keep 
them moist and tender. All market 
forms offish and shellfish can be baked. 


6 servings 

2 halibut steaks (1 pound each), fresh 

or frozen 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 cup soft bread cubes 
1 cup drained crushed pineapple 

1 cup cooked rice 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
% teaspoon salt 

}i teaspoon curry powder 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 

Thaw frozen steaks. Sprinkle them 
with salt. 

Combine remaining ingredients ex- 
cept butter or margarine. 

Place one steak in a well-greased 
baking pan, 12 by 8 by 2 inches. Place 
stuffing on steak and cover with the 
remaining steak. Secure with tooth- 
picks or skewers. Brush top steak with 
butter or margarine. 

Bake in moderate oven, 350° F., for 
30 to 40 minutes or until fish flake 
easily when tested with a fork. 

Broiling, like baking, is a dry heat 
cooking method; but in broiling the 
heat is direct, intense, and comes from 
only one source. Thin pieces of food 
tend to dry out under the broiler so 
when planning to broil, choose pan- 
dressed fish, fillets, or steaks that are 
around 1 inch thick in preference to 
thinner ones. For more satisfactory 
results in broiling, any frozen fishery 
products should be thawed. Baste the 
seafood well with melted butter or 
margarine, or a sauce, before placing 
it under broiler. Baste once in broiling 
to keep moist and tender. 

Follow your range manufacturer's 
directions for preheating and operating 
the broiler. Length of time it takes to 
broil depends on thickness and size of 
the seafood and the distance that it is 
placed from the heat. As a general 
guide have the surface of the fish or 
shellfish about 3 to 4 inches from the 

source of heat, and place thicker cuts 
farther from the heat than thin ones. 

As a rule, fish or shellfish does not 
need to be turned — because the heat 
of the pan will cook the underside 
adequately. Turn the thicker pieces, 
such as pan-dressed fish, when half 
the allotted cooking time is up. Baste 
again with butter, margarine, or a 
sauce. Always serve any broiled fish 
sizzling hot. 

Charcoal cooking is a natural for 
fishery products because they cook so 
quickly. Most of the basic cooking 
methods can be used on a charcoal 
grill — baking, broiling, frying, grilling, 
boiling, steaming, and smoking. 

Pan-dressed fish, fillets, steaks, crabs, 
lobsters, scallops, and shrimp are ali 
excellent for charcoal cooking. When 
frozen, they should be thawed before 
cooking. Because fish flake easily as 
their cooking nears completion, use of 
a well-greased, long-handled, hinged 
wire grill is recommended. 

Thicker cuts of fish and shellfish are 
preferable for charcoal broiling and 
grilling as they tend to dry out less. 
Also, to be sure of serving juicy and 
flavorful seafood, use a sauce which 
contains some butter or oil and baste 
generously before and during cooking. 
Fish and shellfish are usually cooked 
around 4 inches from moderately 
hot coals. 


6 servings 

3 packages (12 ounces each) precooked, 

frozen king crab legs 
Yz cup butter or margarine, melted 
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice 
# teaspoon paprika 
Melted butter or margarine 

Thaw crab legs. 

Place crab legs in a single layer, 
flesh side up, on a baking pan, 15 by 
10 by 1 inches. 

Combine % cup melted butter or 
margarine and lemon or lime juice. 
Pour sauce over crab legs. 

Broil about 4 inches from source of 
heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until 
heated through. 

Sprinkle with paprika. 

Serve with melted butter or with 


6 servings 

6 dozen soft-shell clams 

12 small onions 

6 medium baking potatoes 

6 ears of corn in the husks 

12 live, hard-shell blue crabs 

Lemon wedges 

Melted butter or margarine 

Wash clam shells thoroughly. 

Peel onions and wash potatoes. Boil 
onions and potatoes for 15 minutes. 

Remove corn silk from corn and 
replace husks. 

Cut 12 pieces of cheesecloth and 12 
pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 
18 by 36 inches each. Place 2 pieces of 
cheesecloth on top of 2 pieces of foil. 
Place 2 onions, a potato, ear of corn, 
1 dozen clams, and 2 crabs on cheese- 

Tie opposite corners of the cheese- 
cloth together. Pour 1 cup of water 
over the package. Bring foil up over 
the food and close all edges with tight 
double folds. Make 6 packages. 

Place packages on a grill about 4 
inches from hot coals. Cover with hood 
or aluminum foil. 

Cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until 
onions and potatoes are cooked. 

Serve with lemon wedges and melt- 
ed butter or margarine. 

Frying, one way of cooking food in 
fat, is probably the most widely used 
method of preparing fishery products. 
Choose a fat that may be heated to a 
high temperature without danger of 
smoking — a smoking fat begins to de- 
compose and will give to seafood an 
unpleasant flavor and odor. Because 
they begin smoking at a higher tem- 
perature, vegetable oils and fats are 
preferable to fats of animal origin. 

Temperature of the fat is extremely 
important. Too high heat will brown 
the outside of the seafood before the 
center is cooked. Too low heat will 
give a pale, greasy, fat-soaked product. 
The most satisfactory frying tempera- 
ture for fish and shellfish is 350° F. 


Frozen seafood that is to be breaded 
must be thawed before frying. Sepa- 
rate the pieces, cut into portions, dip 
in liquid, and roll in crumbs. Frozen 
raw breaded portions, clams, oysters, 
and shrimp should not be thawed 
prior to cooking. 

After frying, drain the seafood im- 
mediately on absorbent paper so as to 
remove excess fat. Keep the fish and 
shellfish warm in a slow oven until all 
the pieces are cooked, and then serve 

Deep-fat frying, cooking in fat or oil 
deep enough to completely immerse 
the food, is a quick method of cooking 
and an excellent way to cook tender 
foods like seafood. 

You need a heavy, deep saucepan or 
french fryer with straight sides, a fry 
basket to fit the fryer, a deep-fat frying 
thermometer, or an electric fryer with 
automatic temperature control. Use 
enough fat to float the seafood, but do 
not fill the fryer more than half full. 
You must allow room for the seafood 
and for the bubbling fat. 

The seafood may be dipped in a 
liquid and coated with a breading or 
dipped in batter. The coating will keep 
the seafood moist during frying and 
give it a delicious crispness. 

Place only one layer of seafood at a 
time in the fry basket and allow enough 
room so the pieces don't touch. This 
prevents the temperature of the fat 
from dropping suddenly, and assures 
thorough cooking and even browning. 
When the fat has heated to 350° F., 
lower the basket into the fryer slowly. 


6 servings 

2 pounds flounder fillets, fresh or frozen 

Mi cup butter or margarine, softened 

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

% teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

}i teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce 

1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
}i teaspoon salt 

Dash pepper 

2 eggs, beaten 

2 tablespoons water 
Mi cup flour 

3 cups soft breadcrumbs 
Fat for frying 


If flounder fillets are frozen, thaw 
them out. 

Combine butter or margarine, pars- 
ley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, 
liquid hot pepper sauce, and garlic. 
Place mixture on waxed paper and 
form into a roll. Chill sauce until hard. 

Skin fillets. Cut fillets into 12 strips, 
about 6 by 2 inches. Sprinkle fish with 
salt and pepper. 

Cut hardened sauce into 12 pieces. 
Place a piece at one end of each strip 
of fish. Roll fish around sauce and 
secure with a toothpick. 

Combine egg and water. 

Roll fish in flour. Dip fish in egg and 
roll in crumbs. Chill for 1 hour. 

Fry in deep fat, 350° F., for 3 to 5 
minutes or until brown and fish flake 
easily when tested with a fork. 

Drain on absorbent paper. Remove 
the toothpicks. 

Pan-frying, cooking in a small amount 
of fat in a frying pan, is an excellent 
way of cooking fish and shellfish. 

The general procedure is to dip the 
seafood in a liquid and then coat it 
with a breading or batter. Heat about 
% inch of fat in a heavy frying pan. For 
pans with a temperature control, the 
right heat is 350° F. 

Place one layer of breaded fish in 
the hot fat, taking care not to overload 
the pan and thus cool the fat. Fry 
until brown on one side, turn carefully 
and brown the other side. 


6 servings 

6 pan-dressed rainbow trout, fresh or 

l /i cup evaporated milk 
1 teaspoon salt 
Oash pepper 
yi cup flour 
yi cup cornmeal 
1 teaspoon paprika 
Fat for frying 

Thaw frozen fish. Clean, wash, and 
dry fish. 

Combine milk, salt, and pepper. 
Combine flour, cornmeal, and paprika. 
Dip fish in the milk and then roll it in 
the flour mixture. 

Place fish in a single layer in hot fat 
in a 12-inch frying pan. Fry at a mod- 
erate heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until 
brown. Turn carefully. 

Fry 4 to 5 minutes longer or until 
fish are brown and flake easily when 
tested with a fork. 

Drain on absorbent paper. 

Oven-frying, which is not true frying, 
is a hot oven method. Fish or shellfish 
are cut into serving-size portions, 
dipped in salted milk, and rolled in 
toasted, fine, dry crumbs. The seafood 
is then placed on a shallow, well- 
greased baking pan. 

A litde melted butter or margarine 
is poured over the seafood and it is 
baked in an extremely hot oven, 
500° F. 

Nice features of oven-frying are that 
the seafood does not require turning, 
basting, or careful watching, and cook- 
ing time is short. The crumb coating 
and high temperature prevent escape 
of flavorful juices and give an attrac- 
tive, brown crust. 


6 servings 

6 frozen raw breaded fish portions (2}i or 

3 ounces each) 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 

2 cups cooked egg noodles 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
1 teaspoon poppy seeds 
Stroganoff sauce 
Chopped parsley 

Place frozen fish portions in a single 
layer on a well-greased baking pan, 15 
by 10 by 1 inches. 

Pour butter or margarine over 

Sprinkle with paprika. 

Bake in an extremely hot oven, 
500° F., for 15 to 20 minutes or until 
brown and fish flake easily when tested 
with a fork. 

Combine noodles, butter or marga- 
rine, and poppy seeds. Arrange noodles 
on a warm serving platter and place 
fish portions on top. 

Pour the Stroganoff sauce over the 
portions. Sprinkle with parsley. 


About 2% cups sauce 

1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, 

}i cup chopped onion 

1 clove garlic, finely chopped 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 
1 can (10^ ounces) condensed cream of 

chicken soup 
}{ teaspoon paprika 
yi teaspoon salt 
Dash pepper 
1 cup sour cream 

Cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic 
in butter or margarine until tender. 

Add soup and seasonings. Cook over 
low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring 

Add sour cream. Heat. 

Boiling. Cooking seafood direcdy 
in water, or boiling, is commonly used 
for cooking crabs, lobsters, and shrimp 
but may be used for any fish or shell- 
fish. The water may be seasoned with 
salt, spices, herbs, lemon, vinegar, or 
wine, or some combination of these 

Place the seafood in gently boiling, 
seasoned water, cover, and simmer 
until tender. Cooking time will vary 
with the size and quantity of fish or 
shellfish being cooked. 


6 servings 

m pounds frozen raw, peeled, cleaned 

}i cup chopped celery leaves 
% cup whole mixed pickling spice 
2 quarts boiling water 
2 cups sliced onions 
5 bay leaves 
l}i cups salad oil 
1% cups white vinegar 
y t cup chopped pimiento 
2 tablespoons capers and liquid 
1% teaspoons celery seed 
1% teaspoons salt 

}i teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce 
Salad greens 

Thaw frozen shrimp. Rinse it with 
cold water. 

Tie celery and pickling spice loosely 
in a piece of cheesecloth. Place in 
boiling water and simmer about 10 
minutes. Add shrimp. 


Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes 
depending on the size. Drain. 

Arrange sliced onions and shrimp 
in alternate layers in a bowl. Add 
bay leaves. 

Combine remaining ingredients ex- 
cept salad greens. Pour sauce over 
onions and shrimp. Cover and chill 
for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Drain. Serve on salad greens. 

Poaching is cooking in a simmering 
liquid — milk, lighdy salted water, 
water seasoned with spices and herbs, 
or a mixture of white wine and water, 
to name just a few liquids. 

Place seafood in a single layer in a 
shallow, wide pan, such as a large 
frying pan, and barely cover it with 
liquid. Cover the pan and simmer the 
fish just until it flakes easily when 
tested with a fork. Because the poach- 
ing liquid contains flavorful juices, 
the liquid is often pardy evaporated 
by boiling and thickened so as to make 
a sauce for the fish. 

As an entree, poached seafood can 
be simply served with a sauce or used 
as the main ingredient of a casserole 
or other combination dish. Chilled 
poached seafood makes delicious cock- 
tails and salads. 


6 servings 

2 pounds salmon steaks, fresh or frozen 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
}i cup cider or apple juice 
1 teaspoon salt 
% cup coffee cream 
1 tablespoon flour 

1 can (4 ounces) of sliced mushrooms, 

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

Thaw frozen steaks. Cut steaks into 
6 portions. 

Melt butter or margarine in a, 12- 
inch frying pan. Place fish in pan. Add 
cider and salt. Cover and simmer for 
5 to 7 minutes or until fish flake easily 
when tested with a fork. Remove fish 
to a warm serving platter, and keep 

Blend cream and flour to make a 
smooth paste. Add mushrooms, pars- 
ley, and cream mixture to liquid in 


frying pan. Cook until thick and 
smooth, stirring constantiy. 

Pour sauce over the fish. 

Steaming is cooking fish and shellfish 
by means of the steam generated from 
boiling water. When cooked in steam 
in a tighdy covered pan, the seafood 
retains natural juices and flavors. 

A steam cooker is ideal, but any 
deep pan with a tight cover is satis- 
factory. If a steaming rack is not avail- 
able, anything may be used which 
prevents the seafood from touching 
the water. 

Water used for steaming may be 
plain, or seasoned with various spices, 
herbs, or wirie. When the water boils 
rapidly, the seafood is placed on the 
rack, the pan covered tightly, and the 
seafood steamed. 


2 servings 

4 dozen small soft-shell clams 
% cup boiling water 
Melted butter or margarine 

Wash clams thoroughly. Place in a 
large saucepan. Add water. Cover 
and bring to the boiling point. 

Reduce heat and steam for 7 to 10 
minutes or until clams open. Drain 
clams, reserving liquid. Strain liquid. 

Serve clams hot in the shells with 
separate containers of clam liquid and 
melted butter or margarine. 

For further reading: 

The following publications on fish cookery 
published by the Bureau of Commercial 
Fisheries, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. 
Department of the Interior, may be obtained 
from the Superintendent of Documents, 
Government Printing Office, Washington, 
D.C. 20402, at the prices indicated. 

Fishery Market Development Series 

No. 1 Florida Fish Recipes (35 cents) 

No. 2 Can-Venient Ways with Shrimp (35 

No. 3 Heirloom Seafood Recipes (20 cents) 
No. 4 The Letters from the Captain's Wife 

(70 cents) 
No. 6 Fancy Catfish (25 cents) 
No. 7 Seafood Slimmers (25 cents) 
No. 8 Let's Cook Fish (60 cents) 
No. 9 Fish for Compliments on a Budget (15 

No. 1 1 Flavor of Maine (35 cents) 

A. Elizabeth Handy 

of Nutrition 

The egg is truly nature's masterpiece ! 
It is a prepackaged container of many 
important nutrients needed by every 
member of the family for good health. 

Eggs are especially valued for the 
amount and high quality of the pro- 
tein they contain. When you serve 
eggs to your family, you can be con- 
fident you are giving them the kind 
of protein needed to build and repair 
body tissues. In fact, egg protein is so 
near perfection that scientists often 
use it as a standard to measure the 
value of protein in other foods. 

Eggs also provide your family with 
significant amounts of vitamin A, 
iron, and riboflavin (vitamin B 2 ), and 
they are one of the few foods that 
contain natural vitamin D. In addi- 
tion, eggs contribute smaller amounts 
of many other nutrients, including 
calcium, phosphorus, and thiamine 
(vitamin B^. 

Eggs — the remarkable storehouse of 
needed nutrients — are one of the first 
solid foods given to babies. They pro- 
vide the nutrients needed by children 
and teenagers for rapid growth. They 
continue to be important for adults 
because of their excellent nutritive 
value, taste appeal, convenience, and 

economy. And eggs are often in- 
cluded in the first semisolid diet for 

Since eggs are relatively low in 
calories, yet high in essential nutrients, 
they also merit a place in the weight 
watcher's diet, supplying only about 
80 calories per large egg. 

When you buy eggs, look for the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture grade 
shield on the carton or on the tape 
that seals the carton. It is your best 
assurance of both quality and size. 
The grade will be shown within the 
shield. The size will be found either 
within the shield or elsewhere on the 

The three consumer grades are U.S. 
Grade AA (or Fresh Fancy), U.S. 
Grade A, and U.S. Grade B. 

The grade you will find most often 
is U.S. Grade A. Often, AA quality 
eggs are included in the cartons with 
A quality eggs. 


U.S. Grade AA (or Fresh Fancy) 
and U.S. Grade A eggs have a round, 
firm yolk, and a high, thick white 
when broken out. They are ideal for 
all purposes, but especially for frying 
and poaching where their up-standing 
appearance is important. 

Grade B eggs have less thick white 
and the yolk may be somewhat flat- 
tened. They are good for general 
cooking and baking. 

Fresh Fancy Quality (or U.S. Grade 
AA) eggs are produced under USDA's 
Quality Control program. These eggs 

A. Elizabeth Handy is the Home Economist 
in the Standardization Branch, Poultry Division, 
Consumer and Marketing Service. 


Eggs: Minimum Weight Per Dozen 

USDA sizes Weight 

(or weight classes) (in ounces) 

Jumbo 30 

Extra Large 27 

Large 24 

Medium 21 

Small 18 

Peewee 15 

reach the market quickly under strictly 
controlled conditions, guaranteeing to 
the consumer a fresh and top quality 

The six USDA sizes or weight classes 
are based on the minimum weight of 
eggs per dozen. 

Although the weight of individual 
eggs within a carton may vary slightly, 
the minimum weight per dozen must 
meet USDA standards. 

Retail stores usually carry only two 
or three sizes in one or two grades. 
The sizes that you will find most often 
are Extra Large, Large, and Medium, 
since most of the eggs produced come 
in these sizes. 

Size and quality are not related — 
they are entirely different. Large eggs 
may be high or low quality; high- 
quality eggs may be either large or 
small. In other words, any size egg 
could be Grade AA (or Fresh Fancy), 
Grade A, or Grade B. The grade de- 
pends on quality, not size. 

The official USDA grade shield on 
a carton of eggs means that experi- 
enced Federal-State egg graders have 
supervised every step of the grading 
and packing operations. It certifies the 
eggs were a specific quality and size at 
the time of grading. 

USDA's grading program for shell 
eggs is a voluntary service paid for by 
the user. Individuals, firms, or govern- 
mental agencies that desire the service 
must request it and pay a fee. 

Grading, sizing, labeling, and pack- 
aging of shell eggs are controlled on a 
State-by-State basis in accordance 
with State egg laws. These laws and 
regulations are enforced by State 
regulatory agencies. 

The Federal-State service is con- 
ducted under cooperative agreements 
between USDA and State depart- 
ments of agriculture. It is performed 


by USDA licensed graders who may be 
either State or Federal employees. 

Under the USDA grading program, 
each carton of eggs must be clearly 
marked to identify the grade, the size, 
the packer or distributor, and the date 
or code to indicate when packed. 
Since the program is voluntary, re- 
member that only cartons bearing the 
official USDA grade shield have been 
U.S. Government-graded. 

Although the handling of shell eggs 
may vary by State and region, eggs 
pass through a number of important 
processes on their way to you — the 
consumer. Some of the steps involved 
are frequent gathering, careful han- 
dling, proper cleaning, rapid cooling, 
controlled temperature and humidity, 
proper grading, sizing, labeling, and 
packaging, and a prompt movement 
through marketing channels. 

With today's large-scale commercial 
egg production and technical manage- 
ment and marketing operations, it is 
now possible to move eggs from the 
farm to the retail markets within 1 or 
2 days. 

Through the Federal-State grading 
program, shell eggs are classified ac- 
cording to the U.S. standards for 
quality of individual shell eggs. These 
standards are the yardstick used to 
measure the quality of the white and 
yolk and the cleanliness and sound- 
ness of the shell. 

Interior egg quality is determined 
by "candling," which is a process of 
examining the interior of the egg with- 
out breaking the shell. The eggs are 
twirled in front of a light so the inside 
can be observed. Years ago a candle 
was actually used, hence the term 
"candling." Later, a "hand-candling" 
instrument was used exclusively. 

Today, large commercial operations 
use electronic equipment for "mass 
scanning" or "flash candling," and 
thousands of eggs can be examined 
per hour. The eggs are placed in from 
one to 12 rows on a continuous con- 
veyor system and mechanically rotated. 
During this process, skilled personnel 
observe the condition of the yolk and 
the white and the cleanliness and 

soundness of the shell, and remove 
any eggs that don't meet prescribed 

To further assure that consumers are 
getting high-quality eggs, another 
quality-control device — the breakout 
test — is used by USDA and by industry 
graders. This test is performed by 
breaking out a random sampling of 
eggs from each shipment onto a flat 
surface. Yolks are carefully observed, 
and the height of the thick white is 
measured with a special instrument 
called a micrometer. 

USDA also provides other voluntary 
services to furnish an even closer check 
on egg quality. These include on-the- 
farm inspection of eggs and retail store 
quality audits in which samples are 
purchased from store display cases and 
checked again for quality. 

Egg prices vary by size for the same 
grade. The amount of price variation 
depends on the supply of the various 
sizes. Consumers often ask for a "rule 
of thumb" to determine which size is 
the most economical. Generally speak- 
ing, if there is less than a 7-cent price 
spread per dozen eggs between one 
size and the next smaller size in the 
same grade, you will get more for 
your money by buying the larger size. 

When considering cost, remember 
that 1 dozen large eggs represents 1 % 
pounds (24 ounces) in the shell. If the 
large eggs are selling for 60 cents per 
dozen, that's the equivalent of 40 cents 
per pound — and very reasonable for 
a pound of protein-rich food. At this 
price, a serving of two large eggs 
(weighing % pound) would cost only 
10 cents. 

Buy only fresh, clean, sound-shelled 
eggs. Do not buy eggs that are cracked 
or dirty. An increasing number of 
States prohibit the sale of cracked eggs 
because they may contain bacteria 
that might cause food poisoning. If, 
by chance, you should find either 
cracked or dirty eggs in a carton, they 
will be safe to eat if used in thoroughly 
cooked dishes. Wash soiled eggs in hot 
water immediately prior to using. 

Be sure to purchase eggs from a 
refrigerated display case and refriger- 

ate them promptly at home large end 
up to help maintain quality. Shell eggs 
kept at temperatures between 70° and 
80° F. will lose more quality in 1 day 
than in 1 week under refrigeration. At 
refrigerator temperatures, shell eggs 
will maintain their inherently high 
quality for several weeks, but for best 
flavor and cooking performance, use 
them within a week. 

Purchase either brown or white 
shelled eggs. The color does not affect 
the nutritive value, quality, flavor, or 
cooking performance of the eggs. The 
only difference is in the shell itself. 
Consumer preference has traditionally 
varied in different parts of the coun- 
try — some people prefer white eggs, 
and others prefer brown. The color is 
determined by the breed of the hen 
laying the egg and it may vary from 
white to deep brown. In other words, 
shell color is a breed characteristic. 

To replace the natural "bloom" or 
coating which covers the pores of the 
eggshell, washed eggs are frequently 
shell-treated or protected by being 
dipped in or sprayed with a fine mist 
of a harmless, tasteless, odorless oil. 
The oil covers the pores and retards 
the loss of natural carbon dioxide and 
moisture from the egg, thus helping 
to preserve quality. 

Consumers sometimes say that eggs 
taste different today. One reason for 
the flavor change is the hen's different 
diet and environment. Today's com- 
mercial laying flocks do not have 
access to feeds which cause strong 
flavors, and the eggs are gathered so 
frequently that their porous shells do 
not absorb odors from the environ- 
ment. Great care is also taken in 
marketing to keep the eggs away from 
foods with strong odors that might 
be absorbed — this is also a very good 
practice to follow in your home. 

Some people wonder why the bro- 
ken-out eggs seem smaller these days. 
They say the eggs don't cover as large 
an area in the frying pan as they once 
did. This is because of the freshness of 
today's eggs. Fresh, high-quality eggs 
cover only a small area when broken 
out. They have a large amount of thick 


white which stands high and firm 
around the yolk. As the eggs age, the 
amount of the thick white decreases 
and the white becomes thinner, caus- 
ing the eggs to spread out and cover 
more area, thus making them appear 
to be larger. 

Yolks with colors of various shades 
are equally good. Yolk color is also a 
matter of preference. The color may 
vary, depending on the hen's diet. 
Eggs produced by today's commercial 
laying flocks tend to have yolks that 
are more uniform in color and also 
lighter in color because the hens are 
fed a controlled ration. 

Leftover yolks should be refrigerated 
promptly in tightly closed containers. 
Cover the yolks with cold water before 
storing. Use within a day or two. 

Occasionally, a small blood or meat 
spot is found in an egg. Although these 
eggs rarely reach consumers, the spot 
can be easily removed. The eggs are 
perfectly wholesome and just as good 
as other eggs. These spots are not a 
sign the eggs are fertile. The chances 
of consumers receiving a fertile egg in 
today's market are extremely rare. 

With modern production and mar- 
keting practices, it is also very seldom, 
indeed, that consumers find storage 
eggs in the retail market. Most of the 
shell eggs are marketed promptly. 

The white, twisted, ropelike strands 
of material found in raw eggs often 
raise questions. Known as "chalazas," 
these strands are highly concentrated 
white appearing on each side of the 
yolk. They are a perfectly natural, 
wholesome part of the egg and serve to 
anchor the yolk in place. Chalazas are 
found in all eggs, with varying degrees 
of prominence. 

A cloudy or slightly milky white 
occasionally found does not affect use 
of the eggs. It is a normal characteristic 
of fresh eggs. Cloudiness or milkiness 
merely indicates that carbon dioxide 
which is naturally present in a fresh 
shell egg has not yet escaped through 
the shell. The white becomes clearer 
as the egg ages. 

Egg white sometimes sticks to the 
inside of the shell of raw eggs, making 


it difficult to remove. Basically this too 
is because the eggs are fresher and the 
white is thicker. 

Leftover egg whites should be re- 
frigerated prompdy in tightly covered 
containers and used within a day or 

Hard-cooked eggs should also be 
refrigerated promptly — either in the 
shell or out. If the shell is removed, 
put the eggs in a tightly closed con- 
tainer or wrap them with moisture- 
proof, vaporproof material. Use within 
a few days. 

Difficulty in peeling some hard- 
cooked eggs is associated with the 
freshness of the eggs reaching today's 
consumers. Since older eggs are usually 
easier to peel, use your oldest eggs for 
hard cooking. 

The green discoloration that some- 
times appears between the white and 
the yolk of hard-cooked eggs is harm- 
less. This greenish color results from a 
chemical reaction between the sulfur 
in the white and the iron in the yolk. 
Sulfur and iron are natural wholesome 
components of the egg. To help pre- 
vent discoloration, hard-cook the eggs 
at low temperature, avoid overcook- 
ing, and cool them promptly. 

About one out of 10 shell eggs 
produced in the United States today 
is processed into liquid, dried, or 
frozen form. For large quantity food 
buyers and the commercial manufac- 
turers of food products, these con- 
venience items are time, labor, and 
space savers which provide uniformity 
of the end product. Yet these products 
contain the natural goodness and the 
cooking functions of the shell egg. 

In 1968, around 72 percent of all 
egg products were processed under 
the USDA voluntary egg products 
inspection program. The service is 
available to processors who request it 
and pay a fee. Under this program, 
egg products must be processed under 
continuous USDA supervision in a 
sanitary manner, in an approved plant 
with proper facilities, and pasteurized 
in accordance with USDA's require- 
ments to assure wholesomeness of the 

products. Only officially inspected and 
passed products may carry the USDA 
inspection mark. 

Generally, liquid, dried, and frozen 
egg products as such are not available 
at the retail level, but a few specialty 
stores may stock dried-egg solids for 
use by campers and hunters. Some 
companies also sell them direcdy to 
interested persons. 

Each of us benefits — probably more 
than we realize — from the egg products 
industry. Most of these egg products 
are used by quantity buyers and in the 
commercial manufacturing of bakery 
products, noodles, macaroni, mayon- 
naise, confections, ice cream, and in 
the growing variety of ready-prepared 
quick bread, cake, frosting, and pud- 
ding mixes now on the market. 
Advances in the egg products industry 
have played a large part in making 
these convenience or ready foods avail- 
able to you and your family. 









Since the food processors are now 
looking upon eggs as a new product 
challenge, you will probably be seeing 
more new egg items in the stores. 

Canned eggnogs which require no 
refrigeration until opening, egg salads, 
packaged omelets, egg custards, hard- 
ccoked egg rolls, and instant scrambled 
eggs are already available in certain 
sections of the country. Other fascinat- 
ing new products are still in the testing 
stages and may appear soon — frozen 
fried eggs, packaged chiffon pies, and 
many others. 

For breakfast, lunch, or dinner" — 
in plain or party fare — eggs are a 
family favorite with U.S. consumers. 

During 1968, we ate enough eggs to 
account for 318 eggs for each man, 
woman, and child in the civilian 

Eggs can be used in literally hun- 
dreds of different ways. Cooked alone, 
they may be scrambled, fried, poached, 
cooked in the shell, baked or shirred, 
or made into omelets. They also com- 
bine easily and well with practically 
all foods including cereals, breads, 
milk, cheese, fruits, vegetables, meats, 
seafood, and poultry. They add color, 
nutritive value, and flavor to foods. 

Suggested Ways to Use Eggs 


Egg dips, canapes 

Bisques, consommes 

Poached, scrambled, fried, hard and soft 

cooked, baked, omelets, souffles, fondues, 


Club, fried, hard cooked, egg salad 

Caesar salad, mousses, aspics, poultry, and 

fish salads 

Thousand Island, cooked salad dressings, 


Muffins, waffles, cornbread, french toast, 


Eggnogs— plain or fancy 

Meringues, pies, puddings, custards, souf- 
fles, cream puffs, cakes 

Moderate to low temperatures with 
proper timing are the general rules 
to follow in cooking to assure uni- 
formly tender, attractive egg dishes. 
High temperatures and long cooking 
cause egg protein to shrink with an 
accompanying loss of moisture, making 
the protein in the egg "rubbery" or 

From an early morning eye-opener 
to a late-at-night snack, eggs are not 
only versatile and delicious, but also 
economical and easy to prepare. 

You may not realize how many 
important functions eggs serve in 
cooking. We use them for leavening 
as in cakes, breads, souffles, and ome- 
lets; thickening custards, sauces, and 
puddings; emulsifying mayonnaise and 
salad dressings; coating for breaded 
poultry, meat, and fish; binding to- 
gether croquettes, meat loaves, and 


egg loaves; retarding of crystallization 
in candies and in icings; garnishing 
canapes, salads, and main dishes; and 
for clarifying soup stock. 

A quick search of any cookbook will 
give you unlimited ideas as to how 
you can make eggs work for you. 

Use all the traditional methods of 
scrambling, frying, poaching, and 
cooking in the shell, but also be sure 
to try some of the new and different 
recipes you'll find. A few suggested 
recipes and uses are included here. 


8 servings 

2 cups hot milk 

2 cups shredded mild or sharp cheese 

2 cups soft breadcrumbs 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 

Yi teaspoon salt 

6 egg yolks, beaten 

6 egg whites, stiffly beaten 

Preheat oven to 350° F. (moderate). 

Combine milk, cheese, breadcrumbs, 
fat, and salt. 

Stir a little of the hot mixture into 
egg yolks; then stir egg yolks into rest 
of hot mixture. 

Gently fold in egg whites. 

Pour into buttered 2-quart baking 
dish. Bake about 30 to 40 minutes, or 
until knife inserted in center comes out 
clean. Serve immediately. 

Variation : Add % cup finely chopped 
and crisply cooked bacon to mixture 
before folding in egg whites. 


6 servings 

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin 
H cup cold water 

}i cup boiling water 
% cup mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
}i teaspoon salt 

6 chopped hard-cooked eggs 

% cup sliced olives 

Y*. cup chopped pickles 

Y* cup chopped celery 

% teaspoon minced onion 

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

Soften gelatin in cold water, then 
dissolve in boiling water. 

Stir gelatin mixture gradually into 


mayonnaise. Add lemon juice and salt 
and mix well. 

Chill until thick but not set. 

Blend in eggs, olives, pickles, celery, 
onion, and parsley. Mix well. 

Pour into 1 -quart mold. Chill until 
set. Unmold on salad greens. 

Variation : Reserve one hard-cooked 
egg, cut in slices, and several olive 
slices. Soften 1 % teaspoons unflavored 
gelatin in % cup cold water; dissolve 
in % cup boiling water. Add 2 table- 
spoons lemon juice. Chill until thick 
but not set. Pour into chilled ring 
mold. Arrange egg and olive slices in 
clear gelatin. Allow to set before adding 
above mixture. 


6 sandwiches 

6 finely chopped hard-cooked eggs 

Yi cup finely chopped sweet pickles 

Yi cup finely chopped celery 

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

Y% cup mayonnaise 

Y% teaspoon salt 

% teaspoon dry mustard 

Ys teaspoon pepper 

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. 
Spread on bread. 

Note: May be served as a salad on 


6 servings 

2 ounces (2 squares) semisweet or un- 
sweetened chocolate 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
3 tablespoons flour 

1 cup milk 

% cup sugar 

Yi teaspoon salt 

5 egg yolks, beaten until foamy 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

5 egg whites 

Preheat oven to 350° F. (moderate). 

Melt chocolate and fat in top part 
of double boiler. Stir in flour. Add 
milk, sugar, and salt, and cook over 
hot water until thick and smooth. 

Add egg yolks and cook over hot 
water for 2 or 3 minutes, while stirring 

Remove from heat, add vanilla, and 
cool slightly. 

Beat egg whites until shiny and stiff 
enough to hold a good peak. Gently 
fold half of the whites into chocolate 
mixture; add remaining egg whites, 
cutting them in lightly. 

Pour into 1^-quart straight-sided 
baking dish, set in a pan of hot water. 
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. 


5 to 6 dozen 

4 egg whites 

} /{ teaspoon salt 

}i teaspoon cream of tartar 

\}i cups sugar 

12-ounce package chocolate bits 

H teaspoon peppermint extract 

Preheat oven to 300° F. (very slow 

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add 
salt and cream of tartar, beating until 
stiff but not dry. 

Add sugar gradually, beating con- 
standy until very stiff peaks form. 
Fold in chocolate bits and peppermint. 

Drop from a teaspoon onto foil or 
ungreased heavy paper on a cookie 
sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove 
from paper while slightly warm. 


Chocolate-Coconut Puffs — Omit pep- 
permint. Add % cup flaked coconut 
and 1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Chocolate-Nut Puffs — Omit pepper- 
mint. Add % cup chopped nuts and 
1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Butterscotch Nut Puffs — Omit pepper- 
mint and the chocolate bits. Add 12 
ounces (2 cups) butterscotch bits, }i 
cup of chopped nuts, and 1 teaspoon 
of vanilla. 


18 bars 

% cup butter or margarine 
K cup confectioner's sugar 
1 cup sifted flour 
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 

Preheat oven to 350° F. (moderate). 

Beat fat and sugar until creamy. 
Blend in flour and lemon rind. 

Press crust into bottom of greased 
8-inch-square baking pan. Bake for 
20 minutes. 


3 eggs 

1 cup granulated sugar 

2 tablespoons flour 

% teaspoon baking powder 
}i teaspoon salt 

1 cup flaked coconut 

% cup chopped pitted dates 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar 
gradually, beating until thick. 

Blend in flour, baking powder, salt, 
coconut, dates, and lemon juice. 

Spoon topping over crust. 

Bake about 30 minutes or until top 
is firm and golden brown. Cool and 
cut into bars. 


6 servings 

4 eggs, slightly beaten 
Ys cup sugar 

l A teaspoon salt 

3 cups hot milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla 
Nutmeg, as desired 

Preheat oven to 325° F. (slow). 

Combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Stir 
in the milk gradually. Add vanilla. 

Pour into custard cups. Sprinkle 
with nutmeg. Set the cups in a pan of 
hot water. 

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until 
a knife inserted in center comes out 


Coconut Custard — sprinkle 2 table- 
spoons of coconut into cups and add 
custard mixture. 

Almond Custard — brown a cup of 
chopped almonds in 2 tablespoons 
of butter or margarine. Sprinkle into 
cups and add custard mixture. 


Harold E. Meister 
Jennie L. Brogdon 

Versatility, Inc., 
With Milk and 
Our Other 
Dairy Foods 

You have probably never gone a whole 
day without having milk and other 
dairy products. From the first meal in 
the morning to the last evening snack, 
these versatile foods add flavor, whole- 
someness, and variety to our diets. 

What are the dairy foods that are so 
prevalent in our daily meals? Milk, 
cream, butter, cheeses, and all the 
good dishes containing these foods. 

Milk may be processed in a number 
of ways. These products include whole, 
skimmed, and flavored fresh milk; cul- 
tured, canned, and dried milk; fresh 
and cultured cream; and frozen desserts. 

Most of the milk sold in the United 
States is cow's milk. Some goat's milk 
is available as a specialty product. It 
is used mainly by people who are al- 
lergic to cow's milk or who are on 
other special diets. Goat's milk is sold 
fresh and canned. 

Almost all fresh milk and cream on 
the market is pasteurized to protect 
the consumer. In pasteurizing, milk is 
heated briefly to kill harmful bacteria. 
Then it is chilled rapidly. Most fresh 
whole pasteurized milk is homogenized. 
The homogenizing process disperses 
the fat evenly through the milk. 


The U.S. Public Health Service has 
set standards for Grade A pasteurized 
milk and milk products. To earn this 
grade, milk must be produced under 
sanitary conditions and be handled 
carefully. Fresh whole milk must con- 
tain not less than 3.25 percent milkfat 
(sometimes called butterfat) and not 
less than 8.25 percent nonfat milk solids 
(protein, milk sugar, and minerals). 

Many cities, counties, and States 
have adopted the U.S. Public Health 
Service standards for milk. Others 
have established their own standards. 

Movement of ample supplies of safe, 
wholesome milk between producing 
and consuming markets is assured by 
local, State, and Federal cooperation. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture 
has established grades for nonfat dry 
milk. The USDA grade shield signifies 
that the product has been packaged in 
a clean, sanitary plant and that it meets 
exacting quality requirements. The 
highest quality of instant nonfat dry 
milk is designated U.S. Extra Grade. 

U.S. Government regulations pro- 
vide that nonfat dry milk and fresh 
skim milk may be fortified with vita- 
mins A and D. Fresh whole milk may 
be fortified with vitamins and minerals. 

In some States, you will find filled 
milk and imitation milk in the stores. 
Filled milk is a combination of skim 
milk and vegetable fat; or of nonfat 
dry milk, water, and vegetable fat. 
Imitation milk is a combination of 
several nondairy ingredients made in 
the semblance of milk. The ingredients 
include vegetable fat which is often 
coconut oil, protein such as sodium 
casemate or soya solids, corn sirup 
solids, flavoring agents, stabilizers, 
emulsifiers, and water. Minimum 
standards have not been set to assure 
nutritional qualities comparable to 
fresh fluid milk. 

Coffee whiteners, dry whipped top- 
ping mixes, and most of the whipped 

Harold E. Meister is Deputy Director, Dairy 
Division, Consumer and Marketing Service. 

Jennie L. Brogdon was a Food Technologist, 
Human Nutrition Research Division, Agricultural 
Research Service. She is now doing graduate work 
at the University of Maryland. 

toppings in pressurized cans are made 
from nondairy products. 

When buying milk, remember that 
fresh milk and cultured milk cost more 
than dried and canned forms. Milk 
that is fortified with multiple vitamins 
and minerals is generally the most 

If you want to cut food costs and still 
provide the milk which your family 
needs, you might try changing your 
patterns for buying and using milk. 
Here are some suggestions: 

• Buy fresh fluid milk at a food or dairy 
retail store. Milk often costs more when 
delivered to the home. 

• Buy fresh milk in multiquart con- 
tainers if you can use this amount 
without waste. Usually, milk in %- or 
1 -gallon containers costs less per quart 
than in single quarts. 

• Use evaporated milk in cooking. 

Unless you rely on fortified milk as a 
principal source of vitamin D, you 
can — 

• Buy fresh milk without added vita- 
mins and minerals, if there is a differ- 
ence in price between nonfortified and 
fortified milk. 

• Use nonfat dry milk in cooking or as 
a beverage. Some families mix equal 
amounts of reconstituted nonfat dry 
milk and fresh whole milk to make a 

Fluid milk, cream, and cultured milk 
products are at their best in flavor and 
nutritive value when they are kept 
clean, cold, and tighdy covered. Rinse 

OS Da 





off the botde or carton, and dry with a 
clean cloth before placing it in the 
coldest part of your refrigerator (40°F.) . 
Keeping these dairy products tighdy 
covered will prevent absorption of 
odors and flavors from other foods in 
the refrigerator. 

Don't let milk and cream stand in 
the light because it destroys riboflavin 
and may cause an off-flavor. Put these 
products in the refrigerator as soon as 
possible after they are purchased or 
delivered to your home, and take them 
out only long enough to measure the 
amount needed for immediate use. 

Don't mix new milk with old unless 
you are going to use it immediately. 
And don't put unused milk back in the 
original container once it has been 
removed from it; store this milk in a 
separate container. 

Canned milk can be stored at room 
temperature until opened. Then refrig- 
erate like fresh milk. 

Keep dry milk at 75° F. or lower, if 
possible, until reconstituted; then treat 
it like fresh milk. Close the packages 
immediately after using. If the milk 
powder is exposed to moisture in the 
air during storage, it may become 
lumpy and stale. 

For best flavor, use fluid milk and 
cream within 3 to 5 days and cultured 
products within 2 or 3 days. Unopened 
jars of sterilized cream can be kept 
for several months in the refrigerator. 
After opening, use within 10 days. 
Pressurized cans of whipped cream 
may be kept for several weeks. 

Milk that has been frozen for a month 
or less can be used although the flavor 
and appearance may be changed. Do 
not freeze sour cream, yogurt, evapo- 
rated milk, or cream. 

Most forms of milk can be used 
interchangeably. Reconstituted non- 
fat dry milk or evaporated milk diluted 
with an equal amount of water may be 
used in place of whole milk in some 
recipes. You might want to add 2% 
teaspoons of butter or margarine to 
1 cup of reconstituted nonfat dry milk 
whenever you are using this in place 
of whole milk. 

Due to the tangy flavor, buttermilk 


Fresh milk is a key part of a school lunch. 

cannot replace the other forms of 
milk in some recipes. If buttermilk is 
used in place of sweet milk in cakes 
and quick breads, use % teaspoon of 
baking soda and % cup of buttermilk 
in the place of 1 teaspoon of baking 
powder and K cup of sweet milk. 

If you do not have any buttermilk 
available, you can use home-soured 
milk. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or 
lemon juice to 1 cup fresh milk or 
to % cup evaporated milk plus % cup 
water. Let stand 5 minutes. Use 2 
teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice 
to 1 cup of reconstituted nonfat dry 
milk. Let stand 10 minutes. 

Sweetened condensed milk is used 
primarily in desserts, candies, frost- 


ings, and special recipes because of 
the added sugar. 

Homogenized milk can be used in- 
terchangeably with nonhomogenized, 
but you may notice slight differences 
in texture. Sauces made with homog- 
enized milk will be suffer and show 
more fat separation. Commercial and 
cornstarch puddings also will become 
thicker when made with homogenized 
milk. Soups, gravies, and scalloped 
potatoes will curdle more readily. 

Either undiluted evaporated milk 
or unreconstituted nonfat dry milk 
may be added to sauces, custards, 
mashed vegetables, ground meat and 
poultry dishes, or baked goods to in- 
crease nutritive value. 

When you reconstitute nonfat dry 
milk, follow the mixing directions on 
the package; for ease in measuring, 
use 1 cup of dry milk to 3 cups of 
water. In many recipes, the nonfat 
dry milk can be added with the dry 
ingredients. Add the water for recon- 
stituting the milk along with the other 
liquid ingredients in the recipe. 

Both evaporated milk and nonfat 
dry milk can be reconstituted with 
liquids from cooked vegetables and 
meats for creamed or scalloped dishes 
or with some fruit juices to use in 
puddings and in other desserts. 

Lowered temperatures are recom- 
mended when cooking dishes in which 
milk is the main ingredient. If milk is 
cooked at too high a temperature or 
for too long a time, some of the protein 
coagulates into a surface film or a 
coating on the sides of the pan. Also, 
off-flavors develop and the milk may 

Heat milk over low heat or in a 
double boiler, being careful not to let 
it boil. Casseroles cooked in the oven 
should be baked at low temperatures, 
and custards set in a pan of hot water. 

Fluid milk is the major ingredient of 
white sauce. Learn to make a smooth, 
well-seasoned white sauce and you 
have the basis for many dishes. White 
sauce is prepared in thin, medium, or 
thick consistency, depending upon the 
amount of flour which is used to 
thicken the milk. 

Thin or medium white sauce is used 
in gravies and in creamed and scal- 
loped vegetables, egg, fish, and meat 
dishes. Thin white sauce is also used 
in cream soups. Thick white sauce is 
used in hollandaise sauce and as a 
binder for croquettes and souffles. 

The sauce can take on a new iden- 
tity with added ingredients such as 
mushrooms, onions, eggs, pimiento; 
or when seasoned with curry powder, 
dry mustard, chives, parsley, or other 

Have you ever prepared a cream 
soup or other creamed dish that cur- 
dled? Curdling results when casein, a 
protein of milk, coagulates or clumps 
together. Such a coagulation can be 

caused by acids in foods. A high salt 
content or tannins in foods can also 
cause milk protein to coagulate. Toma- 
toes, peas, carrots, and asparagus are 
some of the vegetables which might 
cause curdling. 

Any procedure which will keep the 
protein from clumping together will 
keep the mixture smooth. There are 
several ways to accomplish this: Pre- 
pare the milk in a white sauce; stir 
it constandy when the vegetable is 
added; add the vegetable shortiy be- 
fore serving, and heat briefly. This 
golden squash soup is made using some 
of these procedures. 


6 servings, 1 cup each 

1 small onion, sliced 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
}i cup flour 

5 cups milk 

l}i cups cooked, pureed Hubbard squash 

(fresh or frozen) 
lVJs teaspoons salt 
}{ teaspoon celery salt 
% teaspoon curry powder 
Pepper as desired 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

Cook onion in fat in a large sauce- 
pan for a few minutes. Blend flour with 
onion; add milk. Cook over low heat, 
stirring constandy, until thickened. 
Remove from heat; gendy blend in 
squash and seasoning. Heat to serving 
temperature, but do not boil. Sprinkle 
each serving of soup with parsley. 

There are times when you want 
the milk to coagulate; for example, 
when you use rennin to make a junket 
dessert. A firmer clot will be formed 
if you do not boil the milk and if you 
do not stir the mixture too much after 
adding the rennin. Evaporated milk 
should not be used for this dessert 
because a very soft curd is formed. 

Yogurt, which is custardlike in tex- 
ture and acid in flavor, can be eaten 
"as is" or used in desserts, dips, salad 
dressings, or for cooking. When yogurt 
is used in cooking, fold or stir gendy 
into the other ingredients so that the 
texture is not changed. 


The velvety, thick consistency and 
tangy flavor of dairy sour cream adds 
a gourmet touch to foods from appe- 
tizers to desserts. As an appetizer, try 
this dip. 


About 1 cup 

1 cup dairy sour cream 
1 can (4# ounces) deviled ham 
1 teaspoon prepared mustard 
1 tablespoon grated onion 

Whip dairy sour cream until fluffy. 
Mix ham, mustard, and onion. 

Blend into sour cream. 

Serve with crackers, potato chips, 
or raw vegetables. 

As it comes from the carton, dairy 
sour cream is a ready-to-use salad 
dressing or an instant sauce for raw 
or cooked vegetables or baked pota- 
toes. You can also purchase a dry mix 
for sour cream sauce that can be used 
for these same purposes. You can 
make a fancier sauce by adding in- 
gredients like chives, horseradish, dill 
seed, onions, or nuts. 

When used in dressings or sauces 
which contain acid foods such as 
vinegar or lemon juice, the sour cream 
may become thin when it is mixed. 
However, it will return to its original 
consistency after the product is chilled. 

Remember when heating sour cream 
that it reacts as milk does to high 
temperatures, and may curdle. This 
may also happen if it is heated at low 
temperatures for a long time. It is best 
to add the sour cream near the end of 
cooking and to keep the temperature 
low. If the mixture should curdle, the 
appearance will be unattractive but 
the flavor will still be good. 

Sour half-and-half may be substi- 
tuted in many foods for sour cream. 
However, because of the lower fat 
content, do not substitute sour half- 
and-half in cakes and cookies unless 
these contain fat in addition to the 
sour cream. 

Rich, smooth cream is an essential 
ingredient in fine cooking. Light or 
table cream is used "as is" for bever- 


ages, cereals, or desserts as well as for 
cooking. Heavy cream, in addition to 
being used for cooking, is used for 

Thick, luscious mounds of whipped 
cream naturally team up with des- 
serts — as a garnish, as part of the 
dessert, or even as a dessert by itself. 
Whipped cream also can be included 
in salads or party sandwiches. 

Heavy cream should whip to twice 
its volume. That is, 1 cup (% pint) of 
cream yields about 2 cups of whipped 
cream. This volume is best obtained 
with cream that is 30 to 35 percent fat, 
is at least 24 hours old, and is thor- 
oughly chilled to between 35° and 40° 
F. It helps to chill the bowl and beater, 
too. Use a deep, narrow bowl with 
straight sides rather than a wide and 
shallow one. 

Beat the cream until it is fairly stiff. 
Be careful not to overbeat or you will 
have butter. 

When the cream is stiff, fold in a 
tablespoon of sugar per cup of un- 
whipped cream and % teaspoon vanilla 
or other flavoring. More sugar can be 
added, if you wish. Do not add the 
sugar too soon or it will take longer to 
whip the cream and the volume will 
not be as great. Sweetened whipped 
cream will not be as stiff or as stable 
as unsweetened. You might prefer to 
use unsweetened whipped cream when 
it is a topping for some desserts. 

Whipped cream can be frozen in 
individual portions and used as a 
garnish. This is particularly good on 
warm fruit pies. 

Whipped instant nonfat dry milk 
or whipped evaporated milk can be 
substituted in many recipes in which 
whipped cream is used. For the best 
results, whip instant nonfat dry milk 
according to package instructions. 
Evaporated milk should not be diluted 
when it is to be whipped. Place the 
evaporated milk in die freezer until 
it is icy around the edges and partially 
frozen. Then whip until stiff. Unlike 
cream, evaporated milk triples in vol- 
ume so that % cup of milk will yield 
2 cups after whipping. 

If you wish to serve whipped cream 

as a dessert, fold in rum, sherry, or 
brandy to taste in place of the vanilla 
flavoring. Or fold in 1 cup of apple- 
sauce or other fruit puree to 2 cups of 
whipped cream. 

Ice Cream, America's favorite des- 
sert, was also popular during our 
colonial days. There are many flavors 
on the market, but vanilla, chocolate, 
and strawberry are still the bestsellers. 
Frozen custard, fruit sherbet, and ice 
milk are other popular desserts. 

Frozen desserts should be stored in 
the tighdy closed carton at 0° F. or 
colder. If you store ice cream in a 
refrigerator frozen-food compartment, 
use it within a week. When the ice 
cream is partially used up, cover the 
surface with a protective wrap so as 
to avoid the loss of moisture. 

Commercial frozen desserts are ex- 
cellent. But homemade ice cream or 
sherbet is a treat worth your effort. 
There are prepared mixes on the 
market, or you can find a recipe in 
almost any cookbook. Quality of ice 
cream is improved if the dairy prod- 
ucts used are homogenized or in 
concentrated form, such as evaporated 
milk. Adding gelatin or egg also im- 
proves quality. 

There are two methods of preparing 
these desserts — stirred and unstirred 
or still -frozen. 

Versatile dairy products can be served as ice 
cream, above; as an ingredient in soup, left; 
and as cheese and milk with a meal, right. 


The stirred method requires either 
hand or electric power to turn the 
dasher crank. When you first begin, 
turn the dasher slowly and steadily 
to insure a smooth cream. Do not turn 
the dasher too fast or your mixture 
may be churned to butter. When the 
ice cream is frozen to a mush (about 
5 to 10 minutes), turn the dasher more 
rapidly to whip air into the cream. 
To harden the ice cream to serving 
consistency and also to insure a well- 
blended flavor, freeze the cream at 
least 1 hour after mixing is completed. 

Continuous stirring in the freezer 
keeps ice crystals small and incorpo- 
rates air. When the dessert is still- 
frozen, as in refrigerator trays, some 
other means must be used to keep the 
ice crystals small and prevent forma- 
tion of a solid ice mass. This is done by 
rapid freezing; by folding in a fluffy 
beaten product such as whipped 
cream or beaten egg white; and by 
removing the mushy mixture from the 
refrigerator freezer, beating it until 
well- blended, and returning it to the 
freezer until firm. Even when these 
procedures are used, texture of a still- 
frozen dessert is less smooth than 
that of a stirred one because the ice 
crystals are larger. These ice crystals 
will continue to form during storage 
so that still-frozen dessert is best eaten 
soon after preparation. 

Ice cream is easier to scoop or slice 
if it is at refrigerator temperature for 
a short time — about 10 minutes for a 
pint and 20 minutes for a half gallon. 

Butter is one of our oldest staple 
foods. Recorded history shows it was 
used in India as long ago as 2000 B.C. 
In the United States, the buttermaking 
industry has developed in stages start- 
ing as a farm operation; then moving 
into small plants receiving cream de- 
livered by horse and wagon; then to 
larger central plants to take advantage 
of the savings in volume operations. 
Plants are continuing to consolidate 
into larger units. Consumers benefit 
because these plants are taking ad- 
vantage of the newest milk and cream 
processing equipment and churns, 
automated packaging equipment, and 


sanitary controls. All of these things 
play a part in giving us wholesome 
butter with a fine flavor and good 

Butter is made by churning pasteur- 
ized cream. By law, butter must con- 
tain not less than 80 percent milkfat. 
It may or may not contain salt. If 
no salt is added the package is usually 
labelled "unsalted butter." However, 
in some markets it is known as "sweet" 

The highest quality butter is made 
from sweet cream, or sweet cream to 
which a culture similar to that used 
in cultured milk products has been 
added. Cultured butter has a mildly 
acid flavor and aroma. Unsalted butter 
packed for sale to consumers generally 
has this pleasing acid flavor. 

Whipped butter is made by whip- 
ping air or inert gas into butter. This 
increases volume and makes the butter 
easier to spread. Most of the whipped 
butter sold in this country is unsalted. 

Most of the butter offered to con- 
sumers has the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture shield with a letter grade 
indicating the butter's quality at time 
of grading. The assigned grade is based 
on official standards and specifications. 
Tests are run on the butter's "keeping 
quality" as a check for wholesomeness. 
Only butter manufactured in a plant 
inspected and approved by USDA for 
sanitation and good operating prac- 
tices can be officially graded. 

U.S. Grade AA butter has delicate, 
sweet flavor, with a fine, highly pleas- 
ing aroma. It has a smooth texture 
with good spreadability. U.S. Grade A 
butter is made from fresh cream. Its 
flavor and aroma are pleasing but not 
quite as fine as for the top grade. 

To maintain the delicate flavor, store 
butter in the original wrappings until 
ready for use. Keep in the coldest part 
of the refrigerator and only remove as 
much as you will use at one time. If 
butter is exposed at room temperature 
for long periods, light and heat may 
hasten rancidity. Always keep butter 
covered so it will not absorb flavors 
from other foods. The butter compart- 
ment on the refrigerator door keeps 


butter at spreading consistency. If you 
do not plan to use the butter within a 
short period of time, keep it in the 
freezer. It can be frozen in the original 
container unless you plan to keep it for 
several months; then it should be over- 
wrapped with moisture-proof material. 

Butter adds a pleasing, distinctive 
flavor to vegetables, creamed dishes, 
desserts, icings, and of course, to hot 
breads and rolls. Sauces that combine 
butter with many different kinds of 
seasonings are also good and very easy 
to make. Melt or whip the butter with 
parsley, lemon, dill, basil, or other 
herbs. Start with % teaspoon seasoning 
to }i cup {% stick) butter and increase 
according to your taste. 

Try out your own combinations; 
you might even become noted for 
your own special sauce. 

A dessert hard sauce is made by 
creaming butter with confectioner's 
sugar and flavoring it with extracts or 
spices or with wine, brandy, whiskey, 
or rum. This is the traditional sauce 
for English plum pudding. 

For any flour mixture that contains 
a considerable amount of fat, butter is 
a good choice since it adds fine flavor 
as well as shortening. It has long been 
a favorite for cakes, puff pastry, and 
butter cookies. 

Butter can also be used as the short- 
ening in plain pastry, but because 
butter is only 80 percent fat the crust 
will not be as tender as one made with 
another shortening, unless you use 
more of it. Use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 
of butter in place of 1 cup of vegetable 
or other shortening. 

Do not use whipped butter as a sub- 

stitute for butter in a recipe since the 
shortening power is not the same as 
for unwhipped butter. 

Butter can be used for pan frying. 
Don't let the temperature get too high 
or the butter will smoke and brown. 

Because butter has a low smoking 
point, it is not suitable for deep-fat 

Cheese is available in many styles, 
flavors, and textures to suit just about 
every taste and occasion. The refrig- 
erated showcase in any modern food 
market is most enticing with its display 
of various shapes and sizes of cheese 
packages — wedges, oblongs, segments, 
cubes, slices, blocks, and cut portions. 
For many people, their adventuresome 
spirit takes over when they see the 
attractive cheese display, and they buy 
unfamiliar varieties for the pure enjoy- 
ment of getting acquainted with new 
cheese flavors and textures. Others like 
to choose with more certainty the type 
of cheese that will be just right for a 
particular dish, a particular occasion, 
or to suit their taste. 

With more than 400 varieties of 
natural cheese alone, there are bound 
to be several cheeses for every taste. 
You may not like some kinds, others 
may become favorites. If you are used 
to a mild Cheddar, try other mild 
cheeses first, and then stronger flavored 
ones. For still more variety, the market 
offers pasteurized process cheese and 
related products. 

The following information on the 
various forms of cheese available in 
retail markets may enlarge your own 
acquaintance with the cheese family. 

Natural Cheese is made by coagulat- 
ing milk and then separating the curd 
or solid part from the whey or watery 
part. Most natural cheeses are made 
from whole cow's milk, although some 
are made from skim milk, whey, or 
mixtures of all three. 

Many of the popular varieties of 
natural cheese, although originating 
in Europe, are now produced in the 
United States, and are available in 
most food stores, delicatessens, and 
specialty cheese stores. 

Many persons prefer natural cheeses 


to other forms of cheese because each 
has its own characteristic flavor and 
texture. Flavors range from bland cdt- 
tage cheese to tangy Blue (or bleu) or 
pungent Limburger. Textures vary, 
too — from the smooth creaminess of 
cream cheese to the firm elasticity of 
Swiss cheese. Flavor and body and 
texture of cheeses are closely related 
to degree of ripening or aging. Some 
natural cheeses are used unripened. 

Soft unripened varieties such as cot- 
tage, cream, Neufchatel, and ricotta 
cheese contain relatively high moisture 
and do not undergo any curing or 
ripening. Examples of firm, unripened 
cheeses are Gjetost and Mysost. 

In the soft, ripened cheeses, curing 
progresses from the outside or rind of 
the cheese toward the center. Particu- 
lar molds or culture of bacteria or 
both, which grow on the surface of the 
cheese, aid in developing the charac- 
teristic flavor and body and texture 
during the process of curing. Curing 
continues as long as the temperature 
is favorable. These cheeses include 
such varieties as Brie, Camembert, 
and Limburger. They usually contain 
more moisture than semisoft, ripened 

Semisoft, ripened cheeses ripen from 
the interior as well as from the surface. 
This ripening process begins soon after 
the cheese is formed, with the aid of a 
characteristic bacterial or mold culture 
or both. Curing continues as long as 
the temperature is favorable. Exam- 
ples of these cheeses are Bel Paese, 
Brick, Muenster, and Port du Salut. 
They contain higher moisture than the 
firm ripened varieties. 

Firm ripened cheeses ripen with the 
aid of a bacterial culture, throughout 
the entire cheese. Ripening continues 
as long as the temperature is favorable. 
The rate and degree of curing is also 
closely related to moisture content; 
therefore these cheeses, being lower in 
moisture than the softer varieties, do 
usually require a longer curing time. 
Included are Cheddar, Colby, Edam, 
Gouda, Provolone, and Swiss. 

Very hard ripened cheeses also are 
cured with the help of a bacterial 


culture and enzymes. The rate of 
curing, however, is much slower be- 
cause of the very low moisture and 
high salt content. In this category are 
Parmesan, Romano, and Sap Sago. 

Blue-vein, mold-ripened cheese cur- 
ing is accomplished by the aid of 
bacteria, but more particularly by the 
use of a characteristic mold culture 
that grows throughout the interior of 
the cheese to produce the familiar 
appearance and characteristic flavor. 
The well-known blue-veined cheeses 
include Blue (or bleu), Gorgonzola, 
Stilton, and Roquefort. 

Pasteurized Process Cheese is a blend of 
fresh and aged natural cheeses which 
have been shredded, mixed, and 
heated (pasteurized), after which no 
further ripening occurs. It melts easily 
when reheated. The blend may con- 
sist of one or two or more varieties of 
natural cheese and it may contain 
pimientos, fruits, vegetables, or meats. 
Smoked cheese or smoke flavor may 
also be added. 

The flavor of pasteurized process 
cheese depends largely upon the flavor 
of the cheese used, which may be 
modified by flavoring materials added. 
As an example, pasteurized Gruyere 
cheese has a nut-sweet flavor, some- 
what similar to Swiss. 

Process cheese is packaged in slices, 
%-, 1-, and 2-pound loaves, and cut 

Pasteurized process cheese food is 
prepared in much the same manner as 
process cheese except that it contains 
less cheese, with nonfat dry milk or 
whey solids and water added. This 
results in a lower milkfat content and 
more moisture than in process cheese. 
Pasteurized process cheese food also 
may contain pimientos, fruits, vege- 
tables, or meats, or it may have a 
smoked flavor. The most popular vari- 
ety is American cheese food. 

Cheese food is milder in flavor, has 
a softer texture, spreads more easily, 
and melts quicker than process cheese 
due to a higher moisture content. It is 
packaged in slices, rolls, links, and 

Pasteurized process cheese spread is 

made in much the same manner as 
pasteurized process cheese food but 
generally contains higher moisture, and 
the milkfat content is usually lower. A 
stabilizer is used in preparing this 
product to prevent separation of in- 
gredients. It is normally more spread- 
able than cheese food. Cheese spread 
may contain pimientos, fruit, vege- 
tables, meat, or have a smoked flavor. 
It is sold in jars and loaves. 

The flavor of pasteurized process 
cheese spread depends largely upon 
the flavor of the cheese used, which 
may be modified by flavoring materi- 
als added. 

Coldpack Cheese or Club Cheese is a 
blend of the same or two or more vari- 
eties of fresh and aged natural cheese, 
as in process cheese, except that the 
cheese is mixed into a uniform product 
without heating. The flavor is the 
same as the natural cheese used and 
usually is aged or sharp. It may have 
a smoked flavor. The body is softer 
and spreads easily. Principal varieties 
are coldpack American cheese and 
coldpack Swiss cheese. Coldpack cheese 
is packaged in jars, rolls, or links. 

Coldpack cheese food is prepared 
in the same manner as coldpack cheese, 
but includes other dairy ingredients as 
used in process cheese food. In addi- 
tion, sweetening agents such as sugar 
and corn sirup may be added. It is 
packaged in the same way as coldpack 

The flavor resembles the cheese from 
which it is made but is milder; the 
cheese food is softer and spreads more 
easily due to the other ingredients 
added and the higher moisture content. 

The descriptions above show there 
are significant differences between nat- 
ural cheeses and different kinds of 
process cheese and related products. 
These differences make it very impor- 
tant that you check the labels when 
buying cheese. 

For some purposes you may want 
natural cheese, for others process cheese 
or cheese food, and for still others 
pasteurized process cheese spread or 
coldpack cheese may best serve your 
needs. In many cases, they may be 

packaged alike, but the names on the 
labels will be different. Do not confuse 
the brand name with the name of the 

The name of a natural cheese will 
appear as the variety such as "Cheddar 
cheese," or "Blue cheese." A very im- 
portant bit of information on the label 
of certain varieties of natural cheese 
pertains to the age or degree of rip- 
ening. For instance, Cheddar cheese 
labeled "mild" usually has been aged 
2 to 3 months; "medium" or "mellow" 
has been aged 4 to 7 months; and 
"aged" or "sharp," 8 to 12 months. 

Pasteurized process cheese labels will 
always include the name of the variety 
or varieties of cheese used, for instance, 
"pasteurized process American cheese" 
or "pasteurized process Swiss and 
American cheese." In some cases, pas- 
teurized process cheese may be labeled 
to indicate a sharp flavor when a much 
higher proportion of sharp or aged 
cheese was used in its preparation. 

Labels of cheese foods and cheese 
spreads will include all the ingredients 
used in preparing these products along 
with the kinds or varieties of cheese 
used in the mixture. Also, the milkfat 
and moisture content may be shown. 

Coldpack cheese and coldpack cheese 
food are labeled in the same manner 
as other cheese and cheese foods except 
that "club cheese" or "comminuted 
cheese" may be substituted for the 
name "coldpack cheese." 

Grades — based on flavor, body, tex- 
ture, finish, appearance, and color — 
have been established for some varie- 
ties of natural cheese. Grademarks do 
not usually appear on retail packages, 
but you may find some packages of 
Cheddar cheese bearing the U.S. Grade 
AA mark. Cheeses with this mark are 
of the highest quality with fine, pleas- 
ing flavor. Grade A is very good quality. 

Process cheese and cheese foods are 
not federally graded, but frequendy 
are inspected and bear the USDA 
"quality approved" inspection shield. 
Cottage cheese also may have a shield 
on its container stating that it is 
"quality approved" by the U.S. De- 
partment of Agriculture. 








To earn the "quality approved" 
shield, the cheese must have been 
manufactured in a plant that meets 
USDA specifications for condition of 
plant and equipment. A USDA in- 
spector stationed at the plant checks 
on quality of raw materials and plant 
sanitation, and inspects the finished 
products for compliance with Federal 

To find the relative cost of various 
cheeses, compare the price of equal 
weights of cheese. 

Aged or sharp natural cheeses usu- 
ally cost more than mild ones; im- 
ported cheeses frequently cost more 
than domestic ones; and prepackaged 
sliced, cubed, or grated cheeses may 
cost more than wedges or sticks. Cream 
or cottage cheese flavored with chives, 
pimientos, or other ingredients some- 
times is more expensive than similar 
cheese bought plain and seasoned at 
home. Pasteurized process cheeses 
often cost less than natural cheeses. 

How do you store the cheeses you've 
selected? Keep them refrigerated. The 
length of time you can store cheese 
depends on the kind and the wrapping. 
Cottage and Ricotta cheeses should be 
used within a few days. Other soft 
varieties such as cream and Neuf- 
chatel should be used within 2 weeks. 
Hard cheeses will keep up to several 
months if protected from drying out 
and mold contamination. 

All cheeses should be kept in their 
original container or wrappings, if 
possible. Once a cheese is cut, it tends 
to dry out rapidly unless it is over- 
wrapped with aluminum foil, plastic 
wrap, or waxed paper, or stored in a 


tightly covered container. This is es- 
pecially needed for cheeses with a 
strong odor, such as Limburger. Cheese 
that has become dried out and hard 
during storage can be grated and kept 
in a tightly covered jar. 

If you want to keep a larger piece 
of cheese for an extended time, dip 
the cut surface in melted paraffin. 

Jars of process cheese spreads and 
cheese foods can be kept at room tem- 
perature until opened, then refriger- 
ated, tightiy covered. These will keep 
for several weeks. 

Freezing is not recommended since 
the texture of natural cheeses becomes 
crumbly and mealy, and soft cheeses 
separate upon thawing. However, cer- 
tain varieties can be frozen if it is done 
rapidly, if pieces are less than a pound 
in weight and an inch in thickness, and 
if pieces are carefully protected in 
moisture-proof material. Varieties that 
can be frozen include Cheddar, Swiss, 
Edam, Gouda, Brick, Muenster, Port 
du Salut, Provolone, Mozzarella, and 
Camembert. If Blue, Roquefort, or 
gorgonzola cheeses are to be used 
for salads or salad dressings where a 
crumbly texture is acceptable, small 
quantities of these can be frozen. Store 
the cheeses in the freezer no more than 
6 months, thaw in the refrigerator, and 
use as soon as possible after thawing. 

Cheese can be eaten throughout the 
day in many ways — with crackers, as a 
toasted sandwich, or with assorted 
relishes on an appetizer tray. In many 
European countries, a mild cheese ap- 
pears at breakfast accompanied by 
fresh white bread or rolls and jam. 
Complete the meal with a hot bever- 
age, and you will have a different and 
delicious way to start the day. 

When eating cheese as it is, the im- 
portant thing to remember is that the 
characteristic flavor and texture of 
most cheese is best when served at 
room temperature. Remove from the 
refrigerator at least 1 hour before serv- 
ing. The exceptions are cottage and 
cream cheese which are served directly 
from the refrigerator. 

Cheese and fruit are natural part- 
ners and can become an easy but ele- 

gant ending to your next dinner party 
or buffet. Plan on several varieties 
with varying flavors and textures. 
Serve at least one full-flavored variety 
such as Blue cheese. 

You might also include one cheese 
which is unfamiliar to most of your 
guests for its conversation value. 

Use your prettiest tray or platter. 
Cut the cheeses in different forms; for 
example, Swiss into slices, Cheddar 
into cubes or fingers, and Blue into 
wedges. Serve a soft cheese in one piece 
or cut into cubes. The red, wax-coated 
Edam or Gouda is a colorful addition 
if served with a slice removed from the 
top so that the center can be scooped 

Serve several kinds of fruits. Apples, 
pears, orange sections, pineapple spears, 
and seedless grapes are good choices. 
If apples and pears are served cut, 
remember that they will darken unless 
dipped in lemon juice or other citrus 

If fresh fruits are not available, you 
might serve fruit preserves, jam, an 
especially interesting jelly, or candied 
and dried fruits. 

Finish your tray with crisp crackers 
or thin slices of pumpernickel or rye 
bread. Select crackers with flavors that 
will not compete with the cheeses. 

Cheese spreads and dips are popular 
as snacks and for entertaining. You 
might prefer making your own, but 
there are a large number of already 
prepared snacks and dips available. 
Whipped cream or Neufchatel cheese 
may have clams, chives, mushrooms, 
onions, bacon, dates and nuts, or other 
ingredients added. 

Cheeses packed in pressurized cans 
are another convenience. You can use 
these for canapes and sandwiches. Sev- 
eral different cheeses are available. 

The use of cheese in cooking is end- 
less. Cheese makes a delicious com- 
bination in casseroles with pasta; with 
vegetables; and with meats, poultry, 
and fish. 

Attention to two simple rules will 
insure a successful cheese dish — use low 
heat and do not overcook. When cheese 
is melted, it is cooked. Because of its 

protein nature, cheese that is heated at 
too high a temperature or for too long 
a time becomes tough and stringy. The 
fat separates out from the protein and 
the flavor may change. 

Cheese will melt quicker if it is 
sliced, cubed, shredded, or grated to 
use in a recipe. Shred soft cheese on a 
coarse grater; shred hard cheese on a 
fine one. 

Follow cooking directions carefully 
in any recipe you use. In general, for 
best results when you are cooking on 
top of the stove, use a double boiler. 
You can cook your cheese dish over 
direct heat if the heat is low and you 
stir constantly. 

In making cheese sauces, add the 
cheese last and stir just until melted. 
Easy cheese sauces can be made from 
the dry sauce mixes or the condensed 
Cheddar cheese soups which are on 
the market. 

What cheese should you use for 
cooking? Your family has certain pref- 
erences and many homemakers regard 
Cheddar or American as the best 
cooking cheese. However, other varie- 
ties such as Blue, cottage, cream, Par- 
mesan, Romano, and Swiss are also 
excellent for various dishes. With few 
exceptions, the use of any cheese is not 

In general, a sharper, longer aged 
natural cheese contributes more flavor 
and better texture to cooked dishes 
than a milder, less-ripened one. Proc- 
ess cheeses are often preferred for 
cooking as they melt to a creamy 
smoothness and blend well with other 
foods. However, they are often bland 
in flavor. 


6 servings, % cup rarebit each 

1 egg, beaten 
l}i cups milk 
3 cups (.% pound) shredded cheese 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
J4 teaspoon dry mustard 

2 tablespoons chopped pimiento 

Combine all ingredients except pi- 
miento. Cook over low heat, stirring 
constandy, until cheese is melted and 
the mixture is slightiy thickened. Stir 


Cheese rarebit served with a tomato slice on bread. 


in pimiento and serve immediately 
toast or crackers, as desired. 

If the rarebit is made with natural 
Cheddar cheese it will have a zesty 
flavor, but must be freshly stirred and 
served immediately. It may separate 

and need to be placed over simmering 
water and stirred until it is again 
smooth. The texture may be slightly 

If the rarebit is made with process 
Cheddar cheese it will have an unfail- 
ing smoothness and a milder flavor. 

Whole milk 

Vitamin D 

Fortified multiple-vitamin 

and/or mineral 

Skimmed milk 

Skim (skimmed or nonfat 

Fortified skim 

2 percent 


Grade A pasteurized milk sold for home use. 

At least 3.25 percent milkfat and 8.25 percent nonfat 
milk solids. 1 
Fat uniformly distributed through milk. 
Layer of cream at top of container. 
Vitamin D increased to at least 400 U.S. P. or In- 
ternational units per quart. 
Added vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, thiamine, 

niacin, and/or iron, iodine. 
Fresh milk with a considerable portion of the water 
Processed to remove most of the fat, which also re- 
moves the vitamin A and vitamin D of fluid whole 
Less than 0.5 percent milkfat and at least 8 percent 

nonfat milk solids. 
Added vitamin A and vitamin D, less than 0.5 
percent milkfat, and at least 10 percent non- 
fat milk solids. 
Between 0.5 and 2 percent milkfat. 
2 percent milkfat and — usually — 10 percent nonfat 
milk solids. 

i Recommended in "Grade 'A' Pastourized Milk Ordinance, - ' Public Health Service Publication 229 (1965 
revision). Minimums of 3 percent milkfat and 8 percent nonfat milk solids have been set by some States for whole 


Flavored milk 
Chocolate milk 

Chocolate-flavored milk 
Chocolate drink (chocolate 
lowfat milk) 

Chocolate-flavored drink 






Evaporated milk 


Sweetened condensed milk 


Nonfat dry or dry skim milk 

Whole dry milk 


Sour half-and-half 


Table cream (coffee or light 

Sour cream 

Light whipping cream 
Heavy whipping cream 
Pressurized whipped cream 


Ice cream 

Frozen custard (French or 
New York ice cream) 

Ice milk 

Fruit sherbet 

Flavoring and stabilizer added. 

Made from whole milk with chocolate and sweet- 

Made from whole milk with cocoa and sweetener. 

Made from skim or lowfat milk with chocolate 
and sweetener. Nonfat milk solids may be 

Made from skim or lowfat milk with cocoa and 
sweetener. Nonfat milk solids may be added. 

Flavored milk: Strawberry, coffee, maple, or other 
flavoring combined with whole milk. Flavored 
drink or flavored lowfat milk: Flavoring com- 
bined with skim or lowfat milk. 

Made by adding bacterial culture to milk. 

Thick, smooth liquid. Usually made from skimmed 
milk; at least 8.25 percent nonfat milk solids. 

Semisolid. Made from whole or skim milk. Fruit or 
other flavorings may be added. 

Concentrated by removing water from milk. 

Vitamin D usually added. Sterilized. 

At least 7.9 percent milkfat and 25.9 percent total 

milk solids. 
Low milkfat — often 0.2 or 0.3 percent. At least 18 
percent total milk solids. Vitamin A may be 
Sugar added to help preserve milk. At least 8.5 per- 
cent milkfat and 28 percent total milk solids. 

Not more than S percent of moisture. 

Made from fluid skim milk. Usually "instantized." 
Not more than 1.5 percent milkfat in dry prod- 
uct. May be fortified with vitamins A and D. 

Made from fluid whole milk. At least 26 percent 
milkfat in the dry product. 

Combination of skim milk and vegetable fat; or of 
nonfat milk solids, water, and vegetable fat. 

Mixture of milk and cream. Pasteurized Grade A. 
At least 10.5 percent milkfat; generally homogenized. 
Made by adding bacterial culture to fresh half-and- 
half; 0.2 percent acidity. Fluid or semifluid. 

Pasteurized, Grade A. 

At least 18 percent milkfat; generally homogenized. 

Made by adding bacterial culture to fresh table 
cream; 0.2 percent acidity. Fluid or semifluid. 

At least 30 percent milkfat. 

At least 36 percent milkfat. 

Liquid containing fresh table or whipping cream, 
sugar, stabilizer, emulsifier in aerosol can. 

Hard or soft frozen, pasteurized during processing. 

Made from cream, milk, sugar, stabilizers. At least 

10 percent milkfat and 20 percent total milk 

Made from the usual ingredients for ice cream, plus 

egg yolks. At least 10 percent milkfat and 20 

percent total milk solids. 
Made from milk, stabilizers, sweeteners. Between 2 

and 7 percent milkfat and at least 11 percent 

total milk solids. 
Made from milk, fruit or fruit juice, stabilizers, 

sweeteners. From 1 to 2 percent milkfat and 

between 2 and 5 percent total milk solids. 


Gladys L. Gilpin 
Elinore T. Greeley 
Edward W. Ross, Jr. 

Fruit — Buy It 

With Care 
and Serve It 

With Hair 

Fruit is good just as nature grows it and 
just as man has learned to process it. 
Processed fruit — canned, frozen, and 
dried — is preserved at the peak of its 
goodness. But the biggest bonus of 
fruit is that it is ready to serve in 
any of its forms with litde or no 

To make the most of the fine qual- 
ities of fruit, learn to select fruits with 
care, store them properly, and use 
them with flair. 

To help you choose the right quality 
fruits you want for each specific pur- 
pose, the U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture publishes U.S. grade standards 
for most fresh and processed fruits. 
The grade standards generally provide 
for two or more grades for each prod- 
uct, and describe the quality require- 
ments for each grade. 

There are several U.S. grades for 
fresh fruits. U.S. Extra Fancy is an 
extra-special grade that applies only to 
apples. This grade shows exceptional 
quality in appearance, color, shape, 
and lack of defects. U.S. Fancy is a 
top grade for most fruits. This grade 
indicates good color and good shape. 


The U.S. No. 1 and U.S. Extra No. 1 
grades represent the top quality for 
many fruits and lower grades in the 
case of some fruits. Fruits of these 
grades have a good appearance but a 
few more defects are permitted when 
these grades represent the second or 
third highest grade. 

Other grades for fresh fruits are 
U.S. No. 2 or U.S. Combination. You 
are not likely to see these grades on 
packages in retail stores. 

There are three U.S. grades for 
processed fruits. U.S. Grade A or U.S. 
Fancy is the very best, with excellent 
color; uniform size, weight, and shape; 
proper ripeness; and few or no blem- 
ishes. Use this grade for special 
purposes where appearance and flavor 
are important. 

U.S. Grade B or U.S. Choice is a 
very good quality, and a great deal of 
our processed fruit is packed under 
this quality. The color, uniformity, and 
texture are not quite as perfect as 
Fancy, but the fruit will have a good 
flavor and will be suitable for any use. 

U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard 
fruit is useful where appearance and 
texture are not of great importance. 
This quality may contain some uneven 
or broken pieces. Flavor may not be 
as good as in the higher quality, but 
the fruit will be wholesome. Grade C 
is very useful if you chop or puree the 
fruit, or use it in upside-down cakes, 
jams, and frozen desserts. 

The U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture provides inspection service for 
certification of the quality of fresh and 
processed fruits, based on the U.S. 
grade standards. This is a voluntary 
service offered to the fruit industry on 
a fee basis. 

Gladys L. Gilpin is a Research Food Tech- 
nologist, Food Quality and Use Laboratory, Human 
Nutrition Research Division, Agricultural Research 

Elinore T. Greeley is Head of the Standardiza- 
tion Section, Processed Products Standardization 
and Inspection Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Divi- 
sion, Consumer and Marketing Service. 

Edward W. Ross, Jr., is Assistant Chief, Fresh 
Products Standardization and Inspection Branch, 
Fruit and Vegetable Division, Consumer and 
Marketing Service. 

Continuous inspection for both fresh 
and processed fruits is a special service 
of USDA. Under this program, fruit 
is inspected by highly trained experts 
throughout all phases of its processing 
or packing. When fresh fruits are 
packed under continuous inspection, 
the package may show the USDA 
shield if the product is U.S. No. 1 or 
better. When processed fruits are 
packed under continuous inspection, 
the package may contain a grade 
name with the prefix, "U.S.", or may 
show the USDA shield, or both. 

Another type of inspection on a lot 
basis is offered to packers of fruits. 
Inspection of fresh and processed fruits 
may be done at shipping points, in 
warehouses, during the packing opera- 
tions, and at terminal markets. 

Buying Fresh Fruit. Selection of fresh 
fruit is easy if you follow a few basic 

Buy in season. You get the best 
quality and prices when you do this. 
Read the newspapers for information 
on plentiful foods, a list of foods selected 
by USDA that are in good supply. 

Don't buy just because the price is 
low. Remember to buy only what you 
can use and hold without spoilage. 

If you don't plan to use fruit for 
decorative purposes, consider fruit with 
only superficial blemishes. This kind of 
fruit suffers no loss of eating quality 
and may be less expensive. For ex- 
ample, light brown coloration on 
grapefruit skin and lack of red color 
on apples or peaches do not detract 
from the good taste of the fruit. 

Select the size of fruit that best meets 
your needs. 

Don't pinch the produce. This causes 
spoilage, and the consumer pays in the 
long run. When you do handle fruit to 
check ripeness, do so carefully to 
prevent injury. 

Look for helpful information on 
packaged fruit. You may find a grade- 
mark, weight or measure, or size of 

Buying Canned Fruit. For canned 
fruit, the following buying information 
will be helpful: 

Read the label. Federal regulations 


fi*=Good Suppl) 





•y o 



F F 




i F 




1 S 












Berries (Misc.) 



































































































































NOTE: Each year's production will vary. This chart Is an estimate of 
probable availability. 

require that a label have the name of 
the product, the contents, the name 
and address of the packer or distribu- 
tor, and the kind of packing liquid. 
Sometimes the number of servings is 
put on the label. 

There are three basic can sizes for 
fruits that are approximately equal to 
half pint, pint, and quart sizes. These 

half pint . . . 8 to 8% oz. . . . makes 
2 servings, % cup each 

pint . . . 15 to 17 oz. . . . makes 4 
servings, % cup each 

quart ... 28 to 30 oz. . . . makes 7 
to 8 servings, about % cup each 


Avoid cans that show signs of leak- 
age or that bulge at the ends. Con- 
tents will not be harmed by dents in 
the cans unless the dents have pierced 
the metal. 

Don't undo twist-off lids of glass jars. 
They are tightly sealed to keep the 
contents from spoiling. 

There is a choice of packing liquids 
used on canned fruits. Choose from 
light, heavy, and extra-heavy sirup, 
but remember, the heavier the sirup, 
the sweeter the fruit — and the higher 
the price. Fruit is also packed with 
juice or water, or is artificially sweet- 
ened. The water, juice, and artificially 
sweetened packs are a boon to diet- 
conscious people. 

Frozen Fruit. The quality of frozen 
fruit is usually very good. When buy- 
ing frozen fruit, remember these hints: 

Choose frozen fruit packages that 
are frozen hard. If packages are not 
firm, it means the fruits may have 
thawed or partially thawed. 

Packages stained by the contents 
probably have defrosted at some time 
during marketing, so avoid buying 

Read the label for important infor- 
mation. Labeling laws require the 
label to show the product name, the 
style of cut fruits, information on any 
sweeteners used, the weight, and the 
name and address of the packer or 
distributor. The label may show a 
quality mark, such as Grade A or 
Fancy. Look for thawing information 
and serving directions, too. 

Take frozen fruit home in an in- 
sulated bag to maintain quality. It's a 
good idea to pick up frozen foods last 
on your shopping route. 

Dried Fruit. When selecting dried 
fruit, several pointers may help you 
get the best value: 

Buy well sealed, clean containers. 

Good quality dried apples, apri- 
cots, peaches, and pears should be 
bright in color, firm, and pliable. 

Try different kinds of packages. 
Many new transparent bags, plastic 
containers, or coated cartons are de- 
signed to keep dried fruits better and 
for a longer time. 


Note the variety of dried fruit 
now available. For example, there are 
many kinds of raisins for different 
uses: natural seedless, light-colored, 
seeded (with seeds removed), and clus- 
ters of raisins. Don't overlook the pock- 
et-size packages of raisins so handy for 
lunches and snacks. Dried prunes, both 
pitted and with pits in, also come in 
moisturized and low-moisture forms. 
High-moisture, pitted prunes are ready 
for quick use, such as for stuffing, and 
excellent for eating as they are. Dates 
can be found in pitted or unpitted 
form as well as in low-moisture nug- 
gets. Low-moisture forms of apples, 
apricots, and peaches are good for use 
in sauces and purees. 

Read the label. It will show the 
product name, the weight, and the 
name and address of the packer or 
distributor, and any preservative or 
special treatment. The label may also 
show the size of the fruit and helpful 
hints on how to use the fruit. 

Storage. Once you have selected 
your choice of fresh fruits, proper 
storage and care at home will keep 
fruits best in quality. Sort fruits before 
storing them, discarding any that are 
moldy or decayed. 

Set aside any fruit not ripe enough 
to eat. Pears, bananas, and avocados 
usually need to be ripened at room 
temperature before they are stored or 
used. The optimum temperature for 
ripening is between 60° and 70° F. 
Never ripen fruit in direct sunlight. 
As soon as the fruit is ripe, store 
according to the direction for each 
type of fruit given here, unless you 
plan to use it immediately. 

Wash and dry fruits that have 
smooth, firm skins — apples, pears, and 
plums — before you store them in the 
refrigerator. Do not wash berries, 
cherries, or grapes before storing in 
the refrigerator. But wash them before 
using. And do not remove stems or 
caps because by doing so you could 
break the skin or injure the tissues of 
the fruits. It is best to hold soft, juicy 
fruits in shallow containers so those 
on the bottom will not be crushed. 

Temperature and humidity are very 

important when you store fresh fruits. 
Many refrigerators have closed con- 
tainers or bins where air does not 
circulate to dry out fruits. If you store 
fruits in a plastic bag, make a few 
small holes in the bag to provide 
ventilation and let out some of the 
moisture which accumulates. 

The storage times recommended here 
are short, taking into consideration the 
time it takes to get fresh fruit into your 
home. If you are lucky enough to grow 
your own fruit, you can store fresh 
fruits for longer periods than are 
normally recommended. 

Canned fruits can be stored at room 
temperature and will hold their eating 
quality for extended periods in a cool, 
dry place. They are safe to eat as long 
as the can or jar is intact. Color, 
flavor, and texture may not be top 
quality if you hold canned fruits for 
more than a year, or if you keep them 
in a very warm place. Try to store 
them in a place no warmer than 75° F. 

Frozen fruits must be kept at 0° F. 
or lower to retain their best eating 
quality if you hold them longer than a 
few days. This requires a true freezer. 
You can keep frozen fruits about a 
year at this temperature with little or 
no loss of quality. An ice cube compart- 
ment or refrigerator-freezer compart- 
ment will not maintain this required 

Dried fruits can be stored at cool 
room temperature for 6 months or 
longer. In warm, humid weather, keep 
them in a refrigerator to best hold their 
quality. Prunes and raisins are apt to 
retain their color longer than lighter 
colored fruits like apples, apricots, and 

Because there is such a variety of 
fresh fruits available, you should know 
something about the different buying 
and storing tips for individual fruits. 

Apples. For good eating as fresh fruit, 
the most common varieties are Deli- 
cious, Mcintosh, Stayman, Winesap, 
Golden Delicious, and Jonathan. 

For making pies and applesauce, 
use the tart varieties like Gravenstein, 
Grimes Golden, Jonathan, and Yellow 
Newtown (or Albemarle Pippin). 

Look for firm, crisp apples that have 
a fresh appearance. Store fresh apples 
in the refrigerator to retain crispness. 
Use ripe apples within a week or two. 
Firmer apples will keep longer. 

Apricots. Plump and juicy-looking 
apricots showing a uniform, golden 
orange color are best. Ripe apricots 
will yield to slight pressure on the 
skin. Hard, pale yellow or greenish 
apricots are not very desirable. Store 
ripe apricots uncovered in the refrig- 
erator and use within 3 to 5 days. 

Avocados. Most varieties are pear 
shaped, but some are oval or round. 
Skin textures vary from smooth to 
rough and leathery. Some are green 
in all stages of ripeness, others turn from 
green to maroon, brown, or purplish- 
black as they ripen. 

Avocados that yield to gende pres- 
sure are best for immediate use. For 
use in a few days, select firmer fruit. 
Light brown, irregular markings some- 
times found on the skin have no effect 
on the flesh of ripe avocados. 

Ripen hard or firm avocados at 
room temperature. If necessary to 
hold ripe avocados, store them in the 
warmest part of the refrigerator from 
3 to 5 days. 

Bananas. Most of our banana supply 
comes from Central and South Amer- 
ica. Bananas harvested green develop 
better eating quality than those har- 
vested when ripe. 

Look for firm, bright bananas, free 
from any bruises. For immediate use, 
select solid yellow bananas or yellow 
bananas with light brown flecks. 
Choose bananas which are turning 
yellow or bananas with green tips if 
you plan to keep them a few days or 
to cook them. 

Bananas will ripen quickly at room 
temperature. The best temperature is 
a cool 60° to 70° F. If necessary to 
hold ripe bananas, store them covered 
in the warmest part of the refrigerator. 
Use them within a day or two. 

Berries. Strawberries are best when 
they are firm and have a full red color. 
They should have the caps and stems 
attached and should not be wet. 

When you. purchase blackberries, 


raspberries, dewberries, loganberries, 
and youngberries, look for bright, 
clean berries. Often a wet or stained 
container will indicate the berries have 
poor quality. 

Store berries unwashed and un- 
covered in the refrigerator and use in 
1 or 2 days. 

Blueberries. Good quality blueberries 
are dark blue with a silvery bloom. 
Light purple blueberries usually lack 
flavor. Store blueberries unwashed 
and uncovered in the refrigerator and 
use in a day or two. 

Cranberries. Choose cranberries that 
are plump, firm, lustrous, and red. 
Store in the refrigerator and use within 
a week. 

Sweet Cherries. The best cherries are 
dark red or black with fresh-looking 
stems. Store them unwashed and un- 
covered in the refrigerator and use 
them preferably in a day or two. 
However, they will keep a little longer. 

Citrus Fruits. Choose citrus fruits 
that are heavy for their size. This 
indicates juiciness. Bright-looking skin 
and smooth appearance are also im- 
portant. Slight skin blemishes or sur- 
face scars may affect only the appear- 
ance and not the eating quality. 

Several types of grapefruit are avail- 
able : Seedless (few or no seeds) white 
and pink-fleshed varieties, and white 
and pink-fleshed varieties with seeds. 

Lemons should have a glossy skin. 
A slighdy green tint on the skin has 
no effect on juiciness, but smooth- 
skinned lemons usually have more juice 
than rough-skinned types. 

The large green limes you see in 
most stores are the Persian variety, 
also called Tahitian. The famous Key 
lime, smaller than the Persian, has 
yellow flesh when mature. 

Oranges are available in many dif- 
ferent sizes and varieties. Skin color is 
not always an index of maturity since 
some oranges are artificially colored 
to improve their appearance. Eating 
quality is not affected by this color. 

Good tangerines have a deep orange 
or yellow color with a bright skin 
luster. Loose skin is natural. 

To hold grapefruit, lemons, limes, 


and oranges, keep them in a cold room 
or in the refrigerator, uncovered. They 
will keep well for a week or two and 
often longer. Tangerines should be 
covered and can be held for about a 
week in the refrigerator. 

Dates. Our supply comes from Cali- 
fornia and Arizona and is also im- 
ported. Fully-ripe dates of good quality 
have a lustrous golden-brown to brown 
color. Dates can be soft, semidry, or 
dry depending upon variety and the 
way they are prepared for packaging. 

You will find dates whole with pits 
and with pits removed. Dates also 
come diced and in pieces and are 
often coated to prevent stickiness. 

Store dates in a closed container in 
a refrigerator. They will last for many 
months if kept cold and fairly dry. 

Figs. This fruit may be black, yellow, 
or green. The black fig is the most 
popular for eating as fresh fruit. For 
best flavor, select figs which are fairly 
soft. Minor healed splits at the stem 
end and slight scars do not affect the 
eating quality. 

Fresh figs are usually very ripe when 
you buy them. If you need to hold 
them for a day or two, keep them in 
the coldest part of the refrigerator. 

Grapes. Common varieties of table 
grapes are Thompson Seedless, Alme- 
ria, Calmeria, and Perlette (green 
grapes); Tokay, Cardinal, and Red 
Malaga (bright red grapes) ; Emperor 
(red grapes) ; Ribier (black grapes) ; 
and Concord-type grapes (blue-black 
grapes). Make sure the grapes you buy 
are well-colored, plump, and firmly 
attached to the stem. Stems should be 
green and pliable. 

Store grapes unwashed and uncov- 
ered in the refrigerator and use them 
within 3 to 5 days. 

Melons. Cantaloups should be ma- 
ture. On mature cantaloups, the stem 
is completely gone, leaving a shallow 
indention, and the skin color between 
the netting is a light green to yellow. 
In most common varieties, a thick, 
coarse, and corky netting covers most 
of the surface. Mature cantaloups are 
not necessarily ripe. For immediate 
eating, select ripe cantaloups. A ripe 

melon will have a yellowish cast, a 
pleasant cantaloup odor and the end 
opposite the stem end will yield to 
gende thumb pressure. Mature canta- 
loups that have not reached the fully 
ripe stage are best if you plan to hold 
the melons awhile. 

Casaba melons are light green to 
yellow in color. They are pumpkin- 
shaped and pointed at the stem end. 
Casabas have no netting, but have 
shallow, irregular, lengthwise furrows. 

Select firm, golden-yellow casaba 
melons with a slight softening at the 
stem end. The casaba melons have no 

Crenshaw melons are large, pointed 
at the stem end, and round at the 
other end. The lengthwise furrows are 
very shallow and the flesh is pale 
orange and juicy. A ripe crenshaw 
melon has a golden-yellow rind, will 
yield slighdy to thumb pressure at the 
rounded end, and it has a pleasant 

Honeydew melons are large, bluntly 
oval to round, and generally smooth 
with occasional russeting, a rough, 
lacy discoloration. The rind is firm 
and creamy white to yellow in color. 
A soft, velvety skin indicates maturity 
in honeydews. For ripe melons, look 
for a slight softening at the blossom 
end and a pleasant aroma. 

Honey ball melons are very similar 
to honeydew melons except that they 
are smaller and have an irregular 
netting on the rind. Select honey balls 
in the same manner as honeydew 

Store ripe melons in the refrigerator. 
Place those with a noticeable odor in 
a plastic bag. If possible, use the 
melons within a week. 

Watermelons are easier to judge for 
ripeness and quality when sold in 
halves or quarters so you can see the 
interior. There are a few factors that 
help indicate the quality of a whole 
melon. Look for a smooth surface, a 
slighdy dull rind, fully rounded sides, 
and a creamy colored underside. 

In cut watermelons, look for a good 
red color and dark brown or black 

Watermelon should be refrigerated. 
Use cut watermelons in 3 to 5 days. 
Whole melons will keep longer. 

Nectarines. Nectarines are ancient 
fruits that have characteristics of both 
the peach and the plum. Most nec- 
tarines show a blush red to bright red 
color over much of the skin surface. 

They should have a yellow color 
between the red areas. Choose plump 
fruit with a slight softening of the seam. 

Russeting or speckling of the skin is 
characteristic of some varieties of nec- 
tarines and does not detract from eat- 
ing quality. 

Store nectarines uncovered in the 
refrigerator. It is preferable to use 
nectarines in 3 to 5 days. 

Peaches. The two major types of 
peaches are the freestone, with a pit 
which easily separates from the flesh, 
and the clingstone, with a pit which 
adheres to the flesh. Freestone peaches 
are more popular for eating as fresh 
fruit, and clingstones are generally 
used for canning. Look for peaches 
that are fairly firm or just beginning to 
soften. The color between the areas of 
red on the surface should be yellowish- 
green or yellow. 

Store ripe peaches uncovered in the 
refrigerator and use within 3 to 5 days. 

Pears. There are two general types 
of pears. Summer pears include Bart- 
letts and winter pears include Anjou, 
Bosc, Winter Nelis, and Cornice. 

Look for firm pears with a yellowish- 
green to yellow color on most varieties. 
Some pears show an attractive pink 
blush. Varieties like Bosc are russeted 
on the skin surface and are best when 
their skin color is greenish-yellow to 

Pineapples. Generally pineapples are 
picked hard and they may have to be 
ripened at home. 

Look for firm pineapples with a 
green color turning to yellow or red- 
dish brown. Allow the pineapple to 
ripen at room temperature. 

Refrigerate ripe pineapples and use 
within a day or two. 

Plums and Prunes. Prunes are free- 
stone plums. Plums vary in color from 
green to red ; prunes are purplish black 


in color. For best eating, look for plums 
and prunes that are firm, with a bright 
appearance and a slight glow to the 
skin. They should yield slighdy to a 
gende pressure. 

Store plums and prunes in the re- 
frigerator and use within 3 to 5 days. 

When using fruits, take advantage 
of the rainbow colors, the fine textures, 
and variety of flavors. Good color is 
very important. Fully mature and ripe 
fruit will have a rich, full, character- 
istic color. 

Browning of light-colored fruits — 
like apples, pears, and peaches — dur- 
ing preparation is caused by a com- 
bination of factors. There are several 
ways to prevent or delay this effect: 

• Keep the air from contact with the 
fruit by mixing sugar with cut fruit or 
by covering fruit with sugar sirup. 
Holding prepared fruit in a solution 
of salt and vinegar in water will pre- 
vent browning. 

• Control enzymes, the chemical sub- 
stances naturally present in fruit. Dip- 
ping pared fruits into citrus juice or 
sprinkling citrus juice on the fruit adds 
acid which retards the action of en- 
zymes. Freezing also slows down this 
action. Cooking fruit destroys the 
enzyme and prevents discoloration. 

Texture makes a great difference in 
the enjoyment that comes from eating 
fruit. Ripeness is an important factor 
in the texture of fresh fruit. Fully ripe 
fruit is best for eating uncooked or for 
any use that requires fruit to be soft 
for mashing, sieving, or making into 
juice. For simmering, broiling, baking, 
or frying, use firm or slighdy underripe 
fruits which will retain their shape 
during cooking. 

Short cooking periods are best for 
fruits in most cases. Cook fruits only 
until tender unless you want a very 
soft product that will make a smooth 
sauce or puree. Stir fruits only as 
necessary to keep them from scorching. 

Most fruits can be cooked in a sugar 
sirup with good results. A few fruits, 
like Kieffer pears and quince, become 
hard, tough, and shriveled up when 


cooked this way. These fruits should 
be cooked in water to soften them 
before they are sweetened. 

Flavor is an important consideration 
in preparing fruits. Use only a litde 
sugar with fruits of delicate flavor. 
Cooking fruit can develop new and 
interesting flavors, but use low to 
medium temperatures to prevent cara- 
melization of sugars. To retain best 
flavor, cook fruits just until tender. 

The ways to use fruit are countiess. 

Uncooked fruits can be used in all 
parts of a meal, as snacks and as 
party food. 

For Fruit Combinations, mix fresh, 
frozen, canned, and dried fruit in cups, 
salads, and fruit plates. Contrast light 
and dark colors, soft, crisp, and firm 
textures, and mild and tart flavors. 
Serve frozen fruit partially thawed for 
best texture. All canned fruits and 
many dried fruits may be served just 
as they are. 

When making fruit combinations, 
chill all fruits. 

Fruit cups are favored as an appe- 
tizer, but hold their own as a breakfast 
fruit or dessert. Cut fruit into bite-size 
pieces and cover with fruit juice. 

Fruit salads are appealing as an 
appetizer or as part of the main course. 
Vary them by using different combina- 
tions of slices, segments, cubes, balls, 
or whole small fruits. 

Fruit plates are often used as the 
main dish. Larger pieces and whole 
small fruits are best for fruit plates. 

Try out your ingenuity and artistic 
talent using these combinations as a 

Grapefruit and mandarin oranges 
or combine with avocado, mango, or 

Bananas, oranges, and pineapple. 

Blueberries, cantaloup or water- 
melon, and bananas. 

Peaches, bananas, seedless grapes, 
Tokay grapes. 

Strawberries, oranges, apples. 

Bing cherries, bananas, oranges, 

Raspberries, pears, and cantaloup 
or honeydew melon. 

Fresh and canned fruit makes pleasing salad ensemble to choose from. 

Seedless grapes, bananas, straw- 
berries, and pineapple. 

For color and flavor accents, garnish 
with pomegranate seeds, a sprig of 
mint, a few raisins, cut-up dates, 
crystallized fruit, maraschino cherries, 
candied citrus peel, and slivered or 
chopped nuts. 

For a special flair: 

Pour a litde liqueur on each fruit 

Sprinkle shredded coconut on fruit. 

Include a few prunes stuffed with 
cheese on a fruit plate. 

Use slices or chunks of cheese for a 
hearty fruit plate. 

Top each fruit plate with a scoop of 

Fresh Figs Sorrento, a distinctive 
combination, makes a very flavorful 
first course. Serve fresh figs and thin 
slices of prosciutto, an Italian-type, 
specially flavored ham, on individual 

plates or from a platter so each person 
can make his own selection. 

Jellied fruit juice makes an ideal 
hot weather starter for a meal. 


6 servings, % cup each 

lii cups cranberry juice 
\\{ cups orange juice 
\{ cup pineapple juice 
y t cup lemon juice 
\{ cup sugar 
2 tablespoons gelatin 
}i cup cold water 
1 cup boiling water 
6 maraschino cherries 

Mix the fruit juices and sugar. 

Soften gelatin in cold water, stir in 
boiling water. 

Combine mixtures and chill. 

Just before serving, break up gelatin 
mixture slighdy with a fork. Garnish 
with cherries. 


Be sure to use canned or reconsti- 
tuted frozen pineapple juice rather 
than fresh pineapple juice. One of the 
enzymes in fresh pineapple will react 
with the gelatin and destroy its gelling 
property. This enzyme must be in- 
activated by heating as is done in 
processing of canned and frozen con- 
centrated juices. 

Fruit accompaniments to the main 
course can lend distinction to the meal 
yet are easy to make. 

Pickled Prunes require only pitted 
prunes and any spiced sweet sirup, 
such as sirup left from watermelon or 
peach pickles. Heat the sirup to boiling 
and pour over the prunes. Let stand 
until cool, then refrigerate until used. 
These are delicious filled with cottage 
cheese or cream cheese. 

Fruit sherbets combine fruit juice 
or puree with milk to make an easy 
mix-and-freeze dessert. This recipe in- 
cludes gelatin for a smooth texture. 


6 servings, % cup each 

1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin 

1 cup boiling water 
IK cups sugar 

% cup lemon juice 

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind 
1 quart milk 

Mix gelatin, water, and sugar. 

Stir in lemon juice and rind. 

Chill but do not allow to congeal. 

Add the milk and pour into refrig- 
erator trays. 

Freeze; stir when the mixture begins 
to freeze around edges of trays. 

For raspberry or strawberry sherbet, 
replace lemon juice and rind with a 
package of frozen berries. Color and 
flavor are best if gelatin and berries 
are the same flavor. 

Avocado Freeze is one way Floridians 
use avocados. It is smooth and rich, 
and has a lovely color. 

To make 6 servings, about % cup 
each, mash 1 large, ripe avocado. Stir 


in 3 tablespoons lemon juice and % cup 
sugar; mix until creamy and smooth. 
Whip 1 cup whipping cream; blend 
into avocado mixture. Freeze in refrig- 
erator tray. 

Party snacks can be made quickly 
from prepared fruit products available 
the year around. Punch has long been 
used to refresh guests and promote 
good fellowship. 


12 servings, about % cup each 

1 quart apple cider 

1 cup sweetened cranberry juice 

1 teaspoon lemon juice 

2 cups chilled ginger ale 

Combine fruit juices and chill. 
Just before serving, add ginger ale. 


28 servings, about )i cup each 

1 can (6 ounces) frozen pineapple-orange 

1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade con- 

3 cups canned apricot nectar 
9 cups water 

1 orange, cut into thin slices 

Combine all the ingredients except 
orange slices. 

Mix well; chill. 

Serve over ice. Garnish punch with 
orange slices. 

A Fruit-Ice Ring will decorate as 
well as help cool the punch. Half fill 
a ring mold with water. Arrange a 
variety of fruits in different colors and 
shapes in the mold. Good choices of 
fruit are: whole grapes, cherries, or 
berries; orange or lemon slices; length- 
wise halves of limes; wedges of apples 
(brushed with lemon juice) and canta- 
loup; plum halves. Freeze. Unmold 
and float in punch. Be sure the punch 
is cold. 

Guacamole rates high in border 
States like Texas. The spicy ingredients 
used to give this dip its nippy flavor 
are part of the way of life there. 


About 2 cups of dip 

3 medium-size ripe avocados 
2 teaspoons grated onion 
2 tablespoons chili sauce 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
}i teaspoon salt 

3 or 4 drops Tabasco sauce 

Mash the avocados thoroughly. 
Mix in other ingredients; chill. 
Serve as a dip or spread on crackers, 
if desired. 

"Instant" Fruit Hors tTOeuvres can be 
speared on toothpicks. Use two or 
more of the following fruit: pineapple 
cubes or chunks, seedless grapes, 
whole fresh berries, melon cubes or 
balls, cubes of seasonal fruits (dipped 
in lemon juice if necessary to hold 
their color). A little more work but 
worth it — banana chunks dipped in 
lemon juice and then rolled in finely 
chopped nuts. 

Fruit bonbons are similar to con- 
fections native to the Mediterranean 
countries. Bonbons are easy to make 
and can be prepared ahead of time. 


4 dozen bonbons 

1 package mixed dried fruit 
1 cup seedless raisins 
y 3 cup candied cherries 

1 cup pecans 

2 tablespoons cooking sherry 
% cup confectioner's sugar 

Remove any pits from dried fruit. 

Put mixed fruit and raisins through 
a food chopper, using the fine blade. 

Coarsely chop candied cherries and 

Mix with fruits. 

Blend in sherry. 

Form into small balls. 

Roll the balls in confectioner's sugar 
before serving. 


Finely chop 1 cup each of dried figs, 
raisins, and pitted dates and % cup 
of candied orange peel. Mix together 
with 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts. 

Stir in 2 tablespoons of undiluted 
orange juice concentrate. Make balls 
as described above. 

Familiar, basic cooking methods can 
be used for fruits. On top of the range 
you can make a variety of simmered, 
boiled, and fried fruit products by 
these recipes. 

Simmered Fruit. To keep fruit pieces 
whole, make a sirup by heating the 
water and sugar to boiling. Add the 
fruit, cover, and bring back to boiling. 
Then lower heat until sirup just sim- 
mers, and cook fruit until tender. 

Cook firm varieties of pears in the 
water to make them tender; add the 
sugar the last 10 minutes of cooking. 

To make apple or rhubarb sauce, 
cook the fruit in the water until soft, 
add the sugar, and heat for 1 minute 

Cooking Guide for Fresh Fruit 

Kind of fruit 

Amount ' of fruit 

How to prepare 

Amount of Amount of Cooking time after adding 
water sugar fruit 

Apples. . . 



8 medium-size.. Pare and slice. . H 

15 Halve, pit, peel yi 

if desired. 

1 quart Remove pits 1 

1 pound Sort 1 or 2, 


Pears — 


6 medium-size.. Peel, pit, halve, 
or slice. 

6 medium-size.. Pare, core, 
halve, or 

8 large Halve, pit 

Impounds Slice 

desired ' 

3 A 

Cups Minutes 

M 8 to 10, for slices 

12 to 15, for sauce. 
% 5. 

H 5. 
2 5. 

H 10, for soft varieties 
20 to 25, for firm 
H 5. 
% 2 to 5. 

i Makes 6 servings, about H cup each. 

2 Cranberries make 6 servings with 1 cup water; 8 servings with 2 cups water. 


Fruit soup is a favorite Scandinavian 
dish made with simmered dried fruits. 
Spices and lemon juice give a tangy 
flavor. Serve either hot or cold to start 
the meal or as a dessert. With toasted, 
slivered almonds used as a garnish, 
Californians could claim this as their 
own. Fruit soup made with sour cream 
can make this a high spot in your meal. 


6 servings, about % cup each 

1 package (11 ounces) mixed dried fruit 
}i cup light, seedless raisins 
1 quart water 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 
}i teaspoon salt 

}i cup sugar 

1 stick (3-inch) cinnamon 

Dash ground cloves 

X cup sour cream, if desired 

Remove any pits from dried fruit; 
cut fruit into large pieces. 

Put all ingredients except sour cream 
into pan, bring to a boil, stirring as 

Cover pan, simmer until the fruit is 
tender, about 20 minutes. 

Remove cinnamon stick. 

If desired, lighdy mix in sour cream 
just before serving either hot or cold. 

Fruit sirups and sauces are often 
made from berries. In the Blue Ridge 
Mountains, delectable wild fruit sirups 
are sold for use on pancakes, waffles, 
and the like. Fruit sirups are easy to 
make from the cultivated fruits if you 
don't have wild ones. 


About 1 cup sirup 

1 cup unsweetened blueberries, fresh, 

frozen, or canned 
}i cup water or canned blueberry juice 
}i cup sugar 

Combine ingredients; bring to boil. 
Crush berries with a spoon. 
Simmer 2 or 3 minutes. 
Strain, if desired. 

Year-round grape jelly is delicious 

and can be made with little work 
from frozen concentrated grape juice. 


12 glasses (6 ounces each) 

3 cans (6 ounces each) frozen grape juice 

6}i cups sugar 
2% cups water 
1 bottle liquid pectin 

Thaw grape juice concentrate. 

Stir sugar into water; heat quickly 
while stirring constandy, until mixture 
reaches a full rolling boil that cannot 
be stirred down. 

Boil hard for 1 minute. 

Remove from heat; stir in pectin. 

Add grape juice and mix well. 

Pour immediately into hot home- 
canning jars or jelly glasses. 

Fill jars to % inch from top, seal 
immediately with 2-piece metal lids. 

Fill jelly glasses to % inch from top 
and cover immediately with a ^-inch 
layer of hot paraffin. 

Fruit and nut dessert sauce on cake 
or ice cream wins praise for the cook. 


About 1% cups sauce 

1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawber- 
ries, raspberries, or mixed fruits 
1 cup liquid from frozen fruits plus water 
}i cup sugar 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 

1 tablespoon chopped raisins 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

J4 teaspoon rum extract, if desired 
% cup chopped toasted pecans 

Thaw and drain frozen fruit. 

Use whole berries or cut up large 
pieces of fruit as desired. 

Stir fruit liquid gradually into sugar, 
cornstarch, and raisins in a saucepan. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring 
constandy, until clear and thickened. 

Then add lemon juice, rum extract, 
pecans, and fruit. 

For coconut fruit sauce, omit raisins 
and pecans. Sprinkle toasted coconut 
on top of dessert. 

Serve party grape punch piping hot. 


26 servings, about % cup each 

1 quart grape juice 

1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade, re- 
1 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon whole cloves 
4 sticks cinnamon 

Combine all of ingredients; bring to 
a boil. 

Strain and serve punch hot. 

Pan-frying adds a delightfully new 
flavor to fruits. 

Pan-Fried Apple Rings are a long-time 
favorite in Pennsylvania Dutch coun- 
try. For 6 servings use 3 large apples. 
Wash, core, and slice the apples ^-inch 

Melt 3 tablespoons butter or mar- 
garine in a frying pan. Fry the apple 
rings over moderately low heat until 
they are tender, turning to brown 
evenly, about 10 to 12 minutes. 

Sprinkle the apples with a mixture 
of 1 tablespoon sugar and }{ teaspoon 
cinnamon before serving. 

Pan-Fried Pineapple with coconut gar- 
nish can add a Hawaiian touch to your 
meal. For a quick method, drain a 
large can (about 30 ounces) of pine- 
apple slices. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or mar- 
garine in a frying pan. Fry the pine- 
apple slices over moderately low heat 
until lighdy browned; turn to brown 
the other side. 

Before serving, sprinkle with toasted 

Glazing is a variation of pan-frying. 
Sugar is used along with the fat for 
frying to make a coating on the fruit 
which adds a new texture and flavor 

Glazed Bananas: Cut 4 green-tipped 
bananas into thirds. Blend together 2 
tablespoons butter or margarine, % cup 
brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon lemon 
juice in a heavy frying pan. 

Add the bananas and cook over low 
heat, turning bananas several times 
until the sirup is thick and the bananas 

well-coated. Keep heat low to prevent 
scorching. It will take 5 to 10 minutes, 
depending on size of the bananas and 
their ripeness. 

Or try a West Indies variation, an 
unusual flavor combination. Prior to 
serving, sprinkle the bananas with 3 
tablespoons grated sharp cheese. 

Broiled Fruit is a good complement 
to meat. Broiling takes only a few 
minutes, but the fruit should be served 
immediately; so plan your menu with 
not too many other last minute tasks. 

Peaches, pears, and apricots are all 
broiled the same way. Provide a whole 
piece of fruit for each serving. For 6 
servings, also have ready 1 tablespoon 
lemon juice, 2 tablespoons melted but- 
ter or margarine, 1 tablespoon brown 
sugar, and % teaspoon cinnamon. 

Peel the fruit, cut into halves, and 
remove the pits. Arrange fruit halves 
on broiler pan, hollow side down. Brush 
top side with lemon juice and butter. 

Broil about 8 minutes or until tender 
and lighdy browned. Turn the fruit, 
brush with lemon juice and butter and 
sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. 
Broil 2 or 3 minutes longer until the 
top is golden brown. 

Broil canned fruit the same as you 
would fresh fruit, but reduce cooking 
time to about 5 minutes on the first 
side and 2 minutes after turning. 

Broiled Bananas are also very tasty. 
Use green-tipped bananas instead of 
fully ripe ones. Peel and cut them in 
half lengthwise. Brush them also with 
lemon juice and butter. 

Since they are thinner than the 
other fruits, the cooking time is only 
4 minutes on the first side, then turn 
and add the sugar and cinnamon, and 
broil 2 minutes longer. 

To give broiled bananas a tropical 
flair, sprinkle the tops with flaked 
coconut and toast a minute longer. 

Another easy way to cook fruits is 
baking. The following method for 
peaches can also be used for pears or 
apricots by adjusting the baking time 
needed to cook the fruit until tender. 
Serve these fruits either with the main 
course or as dessert. 

For Baked Peaches or Nectarines, peel 


and halve 6 pieces of fruit. Arrange the 
halves hollow side up in a shallow 
baking dish. Boil % cup water. 

Combine % cup of brown sugar, 2 
teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 table- 
spoon of the boiling water. 

Pour into hollows of the fruit. Pour 
remaining water around fruit in bak- 
ing dish. Bake uncovered at 400° F. 
until tender, about 30 minutes. Baste 
with liquid in baking dish if needed 
during baking. 

To prepare East Indian peaches or 
nectarines, mix )'% teaspoon of curry 
powder into the sugar mixture. 

Apricots are baked like peaches but 
take less time to bake since they are 

For baked pears, pare and halve 
6 pears; remove seeds and fibers from 
center. One-half teaspoon cinnamon 
may be added with the sugar and 
lemon juice if desired. 

Pears will take about 45 minutes 
when they are baked at 400° F. 

Baked Canned Fruit is easy to prepare 
and delicious. This usually takes less 
sugar as most canned fruits are sweet- 
ened. Use the drained fruit sirup 
instead of water. 

Start out with 1 large can (about 30 
ounces) of peach, pear, or apricot 
halves, drained. Arrange the fruit in a 
baking dish hollow side up. 

Mix 2 teaspoons lemon juice with 
2 tablespoons brown sugar; fill into 
the fruit hollows. With pears, % tea- 
spoon cinnamon added with the sugar 
is especially good. Pour }{ cup of the 
drained sirup into the baking dish 
around the fruit. Bake at 400° F. for 
about 15 minutes until heated through. 

Mincemeat-stuffed peaches or pears 
are simple to make, but will suit a 
special occasion. Use the mincemeat to 
fill the fruit. It takes about % cup 
mincemeat for a large can of fruit. 
Place a marshmallow on top of each 
piece of the fruit. 

Bake as above until the fruit is 
heated through and the marshmallow 
browned slightly, about 10 minutes. 

Banana bread catches the rich flavor 
of fully-ripe bananas. 



5- by 9-inch loaf 

% cup sugar 
% cup shortening 
2 eggs 

1 cup mashed banana 
1% cups unsifted flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 
% teaspoon baking soda 

}4 teaspoon salt 

Beat the sugar, fat, and eggs together 
until light and fluffy. 

Stir in bananas. 

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. 

Add dry ingredients to banana mix- 
ture, stirring just until smooth. 

Pour into greased 5- by 9-inch loaf 

Bake at 350° F. until firmly set when 
lightly touched on top, or for 50 to 60 

Cool on rack. Remove from the pan 
after 10 minutes. 

For date-nut banana bread, add % 
cup chopped dates and % cup chopped 
nuts with mashed bananas. 

For orange-banana bread, blend 1 
tablespoon grated orange rind with the 
sugar-fat-egg mixture. 

Green apple pie will long be remem- 
bered if the apples are well selected. 
They must be past the starchy stage 
but with a tart flavor and crisp texture. 

In some parts of the country, green 
apple pie means one made from green 
varieties of apples — but not out in the 
Midwest. This recipe should be used 
with slighdy under-ripe apples. 


8 servings 

6 cups sliced green apples 
% cup sugar 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
}{ teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 
}i teaspoon nutmeg 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
Pastry for a 1-crust pie 

Put apple slices in an 8-inch square 
baking pan. 

Mix dry ingredients, and sprinkle 
over apples. 

Dot with the fat. 

Roll out pastry to an 8-inch square ; 
cut a few slits to allow steam to escape. 

Place pastry on top of apples. 

Bake at 400° F., 45 to 50 minutes 
or until apples are tender and crust 

For French deep dish apple pie, add 
){ cup raisins to the apples. Make a 
frosting by mixing and beating 1 cup 
confectioner's sugar and about 5 tea- 
spoons water. When pie has cooled 
slighdy, spread frosting over the top. 

Deep dish cheese apple pie is a 
great choice in Wisconsin where the 
apples are firm and tart and the cheese 
is excellent. Just sprinkle shredded 
cheese over the top of the pie and 

Fruit crunch is one countrywide 
favorite, as it can be made from many 
fruits starting early in the season with 
rhubarb and then following the season 
through to late fall with cranberries. 
Or you can skip the seasons by using 
canned or frozen fruit. 


8 servings 

3 cups pitted and quartered fresh plums 

y 3 cup granulated sugar 

Yi cup brown sugar, packed 

y 2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats 

}i teaspoon salt 

3 tablespoons flour 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 

Place the plums in an 8-inch square 
baking pan. 

Sprinkle with granulated sugar. 

Combine remaining dry ingredi- 
ents ; mix in the fat until crumbly. 

Sprinkle mixture over the fruit. 

Bake 1 hour at 350° F. Serve warm. 

You can use peaches or nectarines 
in place of plums. Or use 1 pint of 
blueberries. Mix ){ teaspoon cinnamon 
with the sugar and sprinkle these 
fruits with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. 
Or try a combination of 2 cups apple 

slices and 2 cups rhubarb slices (or a 
12-ounce package of frozen rhubarb). 

Canned fruit pie fillings make quick 
fruit crunch desserts. Stir 1 tablespoon 
lemon juice into 1 can of pie filling. 

It is simple to vary the flavors by 
adding only a few ingredients. For 
example, use % teaspoon ginger with 
blueberries and % teaspoon almond 
extract with cherry. Use % teaspoon 
cinnamon and % teaspoon nutmeg 
with apple pie filling, then just as you 
serve the crunch, sprinkle it with % 
cup grated sharp cheese. 

You can glamorize peach pie filling 
in a crunch by adding a few drops 
of rum extract, % teaspoon cinnamon, 
and % teaspoon nutmeg. 

The ultimate satisfaction from the 
fruits you serve is the result of careful 
selection, proper storage, and your art 
and skill in using fruits in many ways. 

For further reading: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fam- 
ily Fare: Food Management and Recipes. Home 
and Garden Bulletin 1, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1966. 

Fruits in Family Meals, A Guide for 

Consumers. Home and Garden Bulletin 125, 
Washington, D.C. 20250, 1968. 

Home Canning of Fruits and Vegeta- 
bles. Home and Garden Bulletin 8, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20250, 1965. 

Home Care of Purchased Frozen Foods. 

Home and Garden Bulletin 69, Washington, 
D.C. 20250, 1967. 

Home Freezing of Fruits and Vegeta- 
bles. Home and Garden Bulletin 10, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20250, 1967. 

How to Buy Fresh Fruits. Home and 

Garden Bulletin 141, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1967. 

Official Grade Standards and Inspection 

for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. AMS-520, 
Washington, D.C. 20250, 1963. 

Processed Fruit and Vegetable Inspec- 
tion . . .at your service. Program Aid 803, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20250, 1967. 

Storing Perishable Foods in the Home. 

Home and Garden Bulletin 78, Washington, 
D.C. 20250, 1967. 

Storing Vegetables and Fruits in Base- 
ments, Cellars, Outbuildings, and Pits. Home 
and Garden Bulletin 119, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1966. 


Michael A. Castille 
Elsie H. Dawson 
Edward R. Thompson 

The Vegetable 
From Buying 
to Cooking 

Shopping for vegetables can be a de- 
light or a chore. A delight if you know 
what to look for, a chore if you don't. 

The selection ranges from locally 
grown sweet corn, harvested only hours 
ago, to the more exotic artichokes or 
brussels sprouts which may have been 
transported thousands of miles by fast 
jet to your city. 

Nor is your selection limited to fresh 
vegetables. Modern technology brings 
you canned and frozen vegetables that 
were harvested weeks or months ago 
at the peak of their goodness, and 
preserved for your future use and 

But vegetables, whether fresh or 
processed (canned, frozen, or dried), 
can vary in quality. These variations 
in the taste, texture, and appearance 
of a vegetable usually make a differ- 
ence in its price. 

U.S. grade standards, which define 
the differences in quality found in 
vegetables, have been established by 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
for most fresh and processed vege- 
tables. USDA also administers the 
Federal-State Inspection Service to 


provide inspection and certification of 
the quality of fresh vegetables accord- 
ing to the U.S. grade standards, and 
maintains a staff of Federal inspectors 
for processed vegetables. Use of the 
U.S. grade standards and inspection 
services by the vegetable industry is 
voluntary, and users must pay a fee 
for the inspection service. 

The U.S. grade standards and in- 
spection services are used extensively 
by the packers, processors, buyers, and 
others in wholesale trading as a basis 
for establishing the value of a product. 
You may find an indication of the U.S. 
grade on some fresh and processed 
vegetables in your grocery store, al- 
though this is not required by Federal 
law. A few States require that some 
products be graded and labeled on the 
basis of either Federal or State grade 

Grade designations found on pack- 
ages of potatoes, onions, carrots, and 
occasionally other fresh vegetables in 
retail stores do not mean the product 
has been officially graded unless the 
package also bears the official USDA 
grade shield or the statement "Packed 
under Continuous Inspection of the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture" or 
"USDA Inspected." 

U.S. grades for fresh vegetables are : 

U.S. Fancy — This is the premium 
grade for some vegetables. It means 
the vegetables have outstanding qual- 
ity and appearance compared to that 
usually available. Only a very small 
percentage of a crop qualifies for this 

U.S. No. 1 — This is the highest grade 
for most vegetables. In a normal year, 
about two-thirds of a crop meets U.S. 
No. 1 grade. These vegetables have 
good quality and appearance and few 

Michael A. Castille is a Marketing Specialist, 
Fruit and Vegetable Division (Fresh Products), 
Consumer and Marketing Service. 

Elsie H. Dawson is Head of the Consumer Use 
of Foods Staff, Human Nutrition Research Divi- 
sion, Agricultural Research Service. 

Edward R. Thompson is a Marketing Specialist, 
Fruit and Vegetable Division (Processed Products), 
Consumer and Marketing Service. 

Other grades for fresh vegetables — 
U.S. No. 2 or U.S. Combination — are 
not likely to be seen in retail stores. 

Like fresh vegetables, most canned 
and frozen vegetables are packed and 
priced according to their quality even 
though a grademark is not on the label. 
But if a vegetable is packed under con- 
tinuous USDA inspection, the indi- 
vidual cans and packages may carry 
the U.S. grademark: 

U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy — Grade A 
vegetables are carefully selected for 
color, tenderness, and freedom from 
blemishes. They are the most tender, 
succulent, and flavorful vegetables 

U.S. Grade B or U.S. Extra Standard — 
Grade B vegetables have excellent 
quality but are not quite so well se- 
lected for color and tenderness as 
Grade A. They are usually a litde 
less tasty. 

U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard- 
Grade C vegetables are not so uniform 
in color, tenderness, and flavor as 
vegetables in the higher grades, and 
they are usually more mature. They 
are a thrifty buy when appearance is 
not too important — for instance, if 
you are using the vegetables as an 
ingredient in soup or souffle. 

The "Packed under Continuous In- 
spection of the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture" shield may be shown 
along with the grade shield, or it may 
be shown by itself. 

Sometimes the grade name is indi- 
cated without the "U.S." in front of 
it — for example, "Fancy" or "Grade 
A." A canned or frozen vegetable with 
this designation must measure up to 


the quality stated, even though it has 
not been officially inspected for grade. 

The brand name of a frozen or 
canned vegetable is also an indication 
of quality. Producers of nationally 
advertised products spend consider- 
able effort to maintain the same 
quality year after year. Unadvertised 
brands may also offer an assurance of 
quality, often at a slightly lower cost. 
And many stores, particularly chain- 
stores, carry two or more qualities 
under their own name labels (private 
labels). Often the only indication of 
difference in quality between private- 
label products is the price. 

Other factors that affect the price 
of canned or frozen vegetables — and 
how you want to use them — are the 
form or style of the vegetable — whole, 
sliced, cut — and whether special sea- 
sonings, sauces, or flavorings have 
been added. Whole vegetables gen- 
erally cost more than cut styles because 
it is hard to keep these fragile products 
whole during processing. Added sauces 
or special flavorings, of course, also 
add to the price, but let you serve 
something different without any extra 

Experience is the best teacher in 
any type of buying. But here are a few 
general rules that may help you: 

Don't buy fresh vegetables simply 
because the price is low. It doesn't pay 
to buy more vegetables than you can 
use without waste. Most fresh vege- 
tables can be stored for 2 to 5 days, 
except for root vegetables, which can 
be stored from one to several weeks. 

It's "penny foolish" to buy fresh 
vegetables affected by decay. A few 
cents extra for vegetables in good 
condition is a good investment 

Fresh vegetables are usually at their 
best quality and price at the peak of 
the season when they are in plentiful 
supply. USDA will notify consumers 
through newspapers and other media 
when vegetables are in abundant 
supply across the country. 

Be careful to prevent injury to fresh 
vegetables when you are picking them 
out in the store. The consumer pays 
for carelessness in the long run. 



USDA inspector examines scallions during harvesting by Navajo Indians in Arizona. 

Be sure to check the label on canned, 
frozen, and dried vegetables. Besides 
describing contents of the package, the 
label may tell you the grade, variety, 
size, and maturity of the vegetables; 
seasonings ; number of servings ; cook- 
ing directions; and give recipes or 
serving ideas. Fair packaging and 
labeling regulations require that the 
label give the net contents in total 
ounces as well as in pounds and ounces 
if the package contains 1 pound or 
more, or less than 4 pounds. This 
should make it easier for you to com- 
pare prices. 


Don't buy cans of vegetables that 
leak or bulge at either end. Bulging or 
swelling indicates spoilage. Dents in 
cans do not harm the contents unless 
they have actually pierced through 
the can or sprung the seam. 

Packages of frozen vegetables should 
be firm. Because frozen vegetables 
should be used immediately after they 
have defrosted — to avoid loss of quality 
and possible contamination — do not 
buy packages that are limp, wet, or 
sweating. These are indications the 
vegetables have defrosted or are in the 
process of defrosting. Packages stained 

by the contents may have been de- 
frosted and refrozen at some stage in 
the marketing process. The vegetables 
may not be contaminated, but refrozen 
vegetables will not taste as good as 
those that are freshly frozen. 

Buy the quality and style of canned 
and frozen vegetables to fit the use 
you plan to make of the vegetable. 
Grade A or Fancy vegetables are the 
pick of the crop and may cost more 
than Grade B or C vegetables. They 
are good for a special luncheon or 
dinner. Grade B or Extra Standard 
vegetables may not look or taste quite 
as good as Grade A vegetables, but 
they are good served alone or in cas- 
seroles or gelatin salads. Grade C or 
Standard vegetables are just as nutri- 
tious as Grades A and B, but they 
don't look as attractive. They are more 
likely to be used in making soups or 
purees, and they also may be used in 

Some vegetables, such as beets, are 
also sized when they are processed 
whole, so that you can buy processed 
whole beets of about the same size. 
This sizing also adds to the cost of 
the processed product, but whole vege- 
tables of about the same size are very 

attractive as a hot vegetable or as a 
cold salad. 

Fancy-cut vegetables, such as french- 
style green beans or julienne carrots 
(french-style and julienne are both 
sliced lengthwise) usually cost more 
than other cut styles and, because they 
are more attractive, are intended for 
use as hot vegetables or cold salads. 

Short-cut green beans, diced car- 
rots, and tomato pieces are examples 
of the least expensive styles of proc- 
essed vegetables, and the styles that 
are best used for soups, souffles, or 

Whether you buy fresh or processed 
vegetables, knowing how many pounds 
or what package or can size to buy is 
sometimes a problem. The serving size 
commonly used for adults is M cup, and 
for young children, }i cup. But of 
course, how much you serve depends 
on your preference for the particular 
vegetable, whether or not you include 
the juice in the serving, and if you plan 
to allow for second helpings, especially 
for a company dinner. 

To help you make a good buy, and 
use your purchase wisely, the qualities 
to look for in fresh vegetables and the 
styles of canned and frozen vegetables 

Guide to Amounts of Vegetables to Buy to Serve Your Family 

Vegetable and style 

Approximate amount of cooked vegetable obtained from- 

Frozen vegetables 

Size of Cooked, 

container Cups 


Canned vegetables 

Size of 


1 lb. of fresh 
vegetable as 


Asparagus, cut 

Beans, green or wax, cut 

Beans, lima 

Beets, sliced, diced or whole 

Broccoli, cut 

Brussels sprouts 

Cabbage, shredded 
Carrots, diced, or sliced 


Corn, whole kernel 






Summer squash, sliced 

i Whole kernels with liquid; a 12 oz. can of whole kernels, vacuum pack, provides 1% cups. 

2 French fries. 

3 Mashed. 

1 Undrained. 


that are available are given in the list 
that follows. Grades of several of the 
more familiar canned and frozen 
vegetables are described so that you 
can determine differences in quality 
for yourself. 

Most people tend to cook and serve 
vegetables plain, buttered at all times. 
Yet there are many delightful ways to 
prepare most vegetables. With each 
vegetable listing, ways are suggested to 
serve vegetables so that your family 
will really enjoy them. 

Artichokes. This vegetable has a 
delicate, nutty flavor that makes it first 
choice among gourmets. 

Artichoke hearts — the tender inner 
part of the vegetable — are available 
frozen and canned. Artichoke hearts 
are also packed in vinegar and sauces, 
to be used like pickles or as hors 
d'oeuvres. Canned whole artichokes 
may be used like fresh artichokes. 

When you buy the fresh vegetable, 
look for plump, globe to cone-shaped 
artichokes that are heavy in relation 
to their size, and have thick, green, 
fresh-looking petals or leaves which 
tightly enfold the bud. 

To clean fresh artichokes, hold them 
under running water or dip them in a 
pan of cold water. With a sharp knife, 
cut off about 1 inch from the top and 
trim off the thorny tip of each leaf 
with a pair of scissors. Cut off stem 
and pull off any loose leaves around 
the bottom. Artichokes discolor rapidly 
after they are cut. To keep them light 
before cooking, put them in a pan of 
water with vinegar or lemon juice 
added, about 3 tablespoons for each 
quart of water. 

To cook whole artichokes, place 
them upright in a deep saucepan in 
about 3 inches of boiling, salted water. 
Cover pan and cook until tender, 
about 15 to 45 minutes depending on 
size and variety. They are tender when 
you can easily pierce the stalk or 
readily pull out a leaf. Drain upside 

A popular sauce for hot artichokes 
is made by combining % cup melted 
butter or margarine, % teaspoon of 
salt, }i teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon 


sugar, \i cup lemon juice, and 2 table- 
spoons minced parsley. Heat a minute 
or two, until flavors blend. Dip the 
tender end of each leaf into the sauce 
before you eat it. 

Cooked fresh or frozen artichokes 
and canned artichokes may also be 
served cold. French dressing, oil and 
lemon juice, or thinned mayonnaise 
are good dressings. Split fresh arti- 
chokes lengthwise and remove and 
discard the chokes before serving. Cold 
artichokes are especially good served 
with shrimp or, crab meat salad, or 
with tomato wedges, olives, and dill 

Asparagus. There are two types of 
asparagus — green and white. Green 
asparagus is sold fresh, frozen, and 
canned; white asparagus is mostly 
canned. Whole spears and tips (the 
most prized part of asparagus) are 
more expensive than cut styles of 
frozen or canned asparagus. 

Fresh asparagus should have closed, 
compact tips and smooth, round, 
tender spears, with a rich green color 
covering most of the spear. Tips that 
are open or spread or spears that are 
angular or ridged are signs of aging. 

Fresh asparagus should be washed 
thoroughly. Scrub the stalks gentiy with 
a vegetable brush and scrape off the 
scales if they are sandy. Break off the 
stalks as far down as they will snap 
easily. Usually the white portion is 

Asparagus may be left whole, cut 
into l^-inch pieces, or sliced diago- 
nally, making thin slanting slices about 
\}i inches long. Cut several stalks at 
one time on a cutting board. 

To cook whole asparagus, tie them 
in a bundle with a band of foil, and 
stand the stalks upright in about 1 inch 
of boiling salted water in a deep pan. 
If you cook asparagus laid flat in the 
pan, place them on a strip of foil so 
that they can be removed by lifting 
the ends of the foil strip. Cover and 
cook until stalks are just tender when 
pierced with a fork, about 10 to 20 

Oriental cooks cut asparagus into 
thin slanting slices and cook them 

until barely tender. Use }i cup water 
and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to 
cook about 3 cups of cut asparagus. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 
monosodium glutamate and cook for 
3 to 5 minutes. 

Asparagus is good either hot or cold. 
Pour lemon-butter sauce or hollan- 
daise sauce over hot asparagus; or 
add diced, hard-cooked eggs to a 
medium white sauce to serve over it. 
Or you can sprinkle crisp bacon bits 
or toasted blanched almonds over 
hot buttered asparagus. Some like 
Italian dressing on asparagus. 

For Chive Asparagus, slowly heat 
one 3-ounce package of chive cream 
cheese and stir until soft and creamy. 
Pour over hot asparagus. 

For Marinated Asparagus, chill 
cooked whole asparagus. Top it with 
french dressing and snipped parsley. 

For Asparagus with Croutons, dice 
bread in tiny squares and brown them 
in a litde butter or margarine in a 
frying pan. Season with salt and 
pepper, garlic salt, curry powder, or 
any favorite herb. Sprinkle over hot 
buttered asparagus. 

Beans, Green and Wax. Called string 
beans before the development of 
stringless varieties, or snap beans, pole 
beans, or bush beans when they are 
fresh, the canned and frozen products 
are usually known as green beans and 
wax beans. Wax beans are so called 
because of their waxy yellow color. 
There is litde difference in nutritional 
value of the two types of beans, but 
green beans are more common. 

Styles of both frozen and canned 
green and wax beans are whole, 
french (julienne or shoestring), and 
cut. Beans cut diagonally are called 
"kitchen cuts" or "home cuts." 

Fresh snap beans should be crisp 
and firm but tender, with a bright 
green or yellow color. Thick, tough, 
fibrous pods are overmature. 

Green and wax beans may be served 
in vegetable salads, either hot or 
chilled. Often they are marinated and 
served cold alone or with other salad 
vegetables. Snap beans also are a good 
ingredient of stews and soups. Cooked 
fresh or frozen beans and canned beans 
can be used interchangeably in most 

Asparagus served with new potatoes and garnished with peas, celery, and white sauce. 


There are many ways to prepare 
fresh green or wax beans. You can 
leave them whole, snap or cut across 
into 1-inch pieces, cut on the diagonal 
in thin pieces, or — slice them length- 
wise with a sharp knife or put through 
a bean sheer. Wash and snip off the 
ends before you cut them. 

To cook fresh snap beans in a small 
amount of water, add beans from 1 
pound as purchased to K or 1 cup 
boiling water in a saucepan. If you 
wish, add % teaspoon salt. Cover pan. 
Cook the shortest time possible until 
just tender for the best flavored beans 
— 12 to 16 minutes for 1-inch pieces, 
slightly less time for diagonal and 
lengthwise cut, and slightly more time 
for whole beans. 

Flavor with salt, pepper, and butter 
or margarine, and serve hot. For a 
more sophisticated dish, beans may be 
served like asparagus with a hollan- 
daise, cheese, or mushroom sauce. 
Some folks like to add bacon or salt 
pork before cooking to give a special 
flavor to beans. 

A recipe from Greece called "Yahni" 
combines 1 pound green beans, a sliced 
onion, and 1^ cups canned tomatoes 
or 3 fresh tomatoes. Cook cut-up beans 
in a very small amount of water for 10 
to 15 minutes, add the onion and to- 
matoes, and season with vegetable oil, 
salt, and pepper. Add a few pieces of 
cooked lamb or other meat, if desired, 
and cook slowly for % hour. 

Other countries have modified this 
recipe by adding a minced garlic clove, 
chopped green pepper, diced celery, 
and chopped parsley. These ingredi- 
ents may be cooked for a few minutes 
in butter or margarine before adding 

Beans, Lima. Practically all the lima 
bean crop is processed into canned or 
frozen products, but a small supply of 
local or "home-grown" fresh limas 
may be found in food stores in summer 
and fall. 

Fresh lima bean pods should be well 
filled and have a bright appearance. 
Lima beans from pods that are dried, 
shriveled, or yellow are more like dried 
limas in flavor. 


Several types of lima beans are 
canned and frozen. Fordhook variety, a 
name often shown on labels, has large, 
thick beans. Several varieties of limas 
have small, thin beans; these are usu- 
ally called baby limas. Lima beans are 
white, yellow, or green, depending on 
their maturity when harvested. Each 
color has its own flavor. Green limas 
are usually the youngest beans. 

Speckled butter beans are another 
variety of lima bean, found mosdy in 
frozen form. They are larger than most 
other lima beans and have a different 

U.S. Grades A and B lima beans are 
less starchy than Grade C, and baby 
limas are less starchy than the larger 

Cook fresh lima beans in a small 
amount of boiling salted water for 
25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Add 
seasonings and butter or margarine. 

Fresh, frozen, or canned lima beans 
can be used in this recipe for Green 
Lima Bean Casserole. 


6 servings, % cup each 

% cup milk 

1 can (1QH ounces) condensed cheese 

1 cup diced celery 

}i cup cut-up parsley 

2 cups cooked green lima beans 

% cup canned french-fried onion rings 

Blend milk with soup. Add celery, 
parsley, and lima beans. Place mixture 
in a baking dish. Top with onion 
rings. Bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes. 

Beets. Beautiful, rich-red beets can 
liven up any meal. Young beets (small 
beets from 1 }i to 2}4 inches in diameter) 
are usually sold with the tops still 
attached, and older beets (usually 
larger than 2\i inches in diameter) 
with the tops removed. (See "Greens, 
cooked" for discussion of beet tops.) 

Canned beets are available whole, 
sliced, quartered, diced, and in strips. 
They may be served as a hot dish or 
used in cold salads. Beets prepared in 
a slightly thickened, sweet vinegar 
sauce are called Harvard beets. 

Fresh beets should be firm and 
round, smooth over most of their 
surface, and have a rich, deep-red 
color. If they are bunched, you can 
judge their freshness fairly accurately 
by the condition of the tops. Decayed 
or badly wilted tops indicate lack of 
freshness, but the beets may be usable 
if they are firm. Avoid elongated beets 
with rough, scaly areas around the top 
surface — they may be tough, fibrous, 
and strong flavored. 

The red color pigment in beets is 
extremely soluble in water, so it's best 
to cook fresh beets whole in their 
skins with a litde of the beet tops and 
roots left on them. Use enough boiling 
salted water to almost cover the beets. 
The red pigment is more stable if a 
litde vinegar or lemon juice is added 
to the water. 

Depending on size, the cooking time 
for young beets varies from 30 to 45 
minutes and for older beets from 45 to 
90 minutes. When the beets are tender, 
remove them from the water, cool 
slightly, and slip off the skins, stems, 
and roots by rubbing with your fingers. 
Beets may then be served whole, sliced, 
diced, or cut into strips. Season to 
taste with salt and pepper or other 
spices, and add butter or margarine, 
lemon juice or vinegar as desired. 


6 servings, X CU P each 

Yi cup sugar 

% teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

% cup orange juice 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine 

3 cups drained sliced beets, canned or 

Mix sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a 
saucepan. Stir in the orange juice and 
cook until thickened, stirring con- 
standy. Remove from heat and stir in 
lemon juice and fat. Pour sauce over 
beets and heat. 

Broccoli. The tender young stalks and 
branches and their bud clusters (or 
heads) are the edible part of broccoli. 

Fresh broccoli has firm, compact 

bud clusters that are dark green or sage 
green, sometimes with a pronounced 
purplish cast. None of the small flower 
buds should have opened enough to 
show the yellow color, and the stalks 
and branches should be firm and 
tender. Broccoli that is wilted or has 
spread bud clusters, enlarged or open 
buds, or a yellowish-green color is 
overmature or has been on display for 
too long. 

The highest quality frozen broccoli, 
with its compact bud clusters, looks 
much like the fresh product. Second 
quality broccoli may have slighdy 
spread bud clusters. Frozen broccoli is 
prepared as whole spears or stalks, 
short spears or florets (the head with a 
short portion of the stalk), broccoli 
cuts or pieces, and chopped broccoli. 

The fleshy stalks of broccoli take 
longer to cook than the blossoms, so 
fresh broccoli may be cooked like 
asparagus, with the stalks standing in 
boiling salted water and the buds 
cooking in the steam. Or the broccoli 
may be cut in pieces and the stems 
cooked a short time before adding the 
buds. Large stalks may be sliced 
lengthwise and they will then cook as 
quickly as the florets. Short cooking 
and litde water tend to preserve the 
nutrients and flavor. 

Serve broccoli spears with a tart 
sauce made by mixing 2 tablespoons 
of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons melted 
butter or margarine, and IX teaspoons 
prepared horseradish with X teaspoon 
salt, IX teaspoons sugar, and X tea- 
spoon paprika. Mix well and pour 
over hot broccoli. 

Chopped broccoli is a flavorsome 
party food when it is used in a souffle 
and served with creamy mushroom 

Brussels Sprouts. Fresh brussels sprouts 
should be firm, bright green, free from 
blemishes, and have tight-fitting outer 
leaves. Sprouts with yellow or yellow- 
ish-green leaves, or leaves which are 
loose, soft, or wilted, are not a good 
buy. Small holes in the leaves or ragged 
leaves may be signs of worm injury. 

Frozen sprouts are trimmed and 
have the outer leaves removed, but 


otherwise closely resemble fresh sprouts. 

When preparing fresh sprouts for 
cooking, remove any yellowed leaves 
and trim off a bit of the stems. Wash 
fresh sprouts thoroughly in cold water 
and soak in cold salt water for 30 
minutes to an hour to remove insects 
if any are present. 

Cook fresh sprouts in a small amount 
(not more than 1 cup to 1 pound of 
sprouts) of boiling salted water in a 
saucepan. Cover pan and cook for 
15 to 20 minutes or until just tender. 
Overcooking may produce a strong 
flavor and discoloration and cause loss 
of vitamins. Drain, add butter or 
margarine, salt, and pepper, or any 
other seasonings you prefer. 

Brussels sprouts are delicious served 
with either cheese sauce or hollandaise 
sauce. Sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs 
or chopped nuts over the top for that 
special company dinner. 

Cabbage. Smooth-leaved green, crin- 
kly-leaved green Savoy, and red cab- 
bage are the three groups of cabbage. 
All three types are suitable for cooking 
or serving cold in salads, but the Savoy 
and red varieties are more in demand 
for slaws and salads. (See "Greens, salad," 
for discussion of Chinese cabbage.) 

Good heads of cabbage are firm or 
hard, heavy for their size, with crisp 
leaves. The outer leaves should be free 
from serious blemishes. These outer 
or "wrapper leaves" are usually dis- 
carded, but too many blemished leaves 
cause extra waste. Old cabbage (cab- 
bage that has been stored) may lack 
green color, but is satisfactory if the 
leaves are not wilted or discolored. If 
the leaves have separated from the 
base of the head, the cabbage may 
be too old. 

Sauerkraut is the only form of proc- 
essed cabbage available in food stores. 
The shredded cabbage is fermented in 
a brine of its own juice and salt. Some 
is flavored with peppers, pimientos, 
tomatoes, or various spices. It is avail- 
able canned and in refrigerated pack- 
ages, and at times a semifresh prod- 
uct is sold from barrels or similar 

Cook fresh cabbage the shortest time 


possible and use very litde water to 
save its high nutritive value. Never 
overcook cabbage because the flavor 
gets strong and it loses its crisp texture. 

The cooking time in a saucepan is 
short — only 3 to 1 minutes — for shred- 
ded cabbage of different varieties. 
Finely shredded cabbage can also be 
cooked in a frying pan in a small 
amount of fat (1 tablespoon) and water 
(2 tablespoons), and % teaspoon salt 
for each quart of shredded cabbage. 
Cover pan to hold in steam. Cook over 
low heat until vegetable is tender in 6 
to 8 minutes. 

For a different flavor, cabbage can 
be cooked in milk. Add 1 quart shred- 
ded cabbage to 1>£ cups milk, and 
simmer for 2 minutes. Mix 2 table- 
spoons each of flour and melted fat 
and add a little of the hot milk. Stir 
this mixture into the cabbage and cook 
for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened, 
stirring constandy. Season to taste with 
salt and pepper. 

Cabbage slaw, hot or cold, is a 
favorite in many countries. The cab- 
bage is chopped coarsely or shredded 
in thin strips, as preferred, and a favor- 
ite dressing and seasonings are added. 
A litde vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper 
is sufficient for some palates. Sweet or 
sour cream salad dressing or mayon- 
naise is preferred by others. To prepare 
hot slaw, make a hot salad dressing 
and stir in finely shredded cabbage. 
Cover and heat a few minutes before 

Red cabbage will retain its red color 
during cooking if vinegar or lemon 
juice is added to the water. 

In Europe and the Near East, cab- 
bage leaves also are used to wrap 
around meat rolls. Cook the cabbage 
leaves until wilted (about 5 minutes) 
in boiling water. Wrap around a meat 
filling and place in heavy frying pan. 
Add 2 cups tomato juice, cover, and 
cook 30 minutes. 

Carrots. The carrot is a versatile 
vegetable and it is good when served 
alone or in combination with meats 
or other vegetables. 

Fresh carrots should be reasonably 
well formed, smooth, firm, and have a 

good orange color. Watch out for 
excessively rough or cracked carrots, 
or carrots with large green areas at 
the top. 

Canned and frozen carrots are avail- 
able whole, quartered, diced, as strips, 
and round slices (cuts). Canned small 
baby carrots are especially flavorful. 

Fresh carrots are easy to prepare. 
First wash them well and pare or 
scrape to remove the thin skin. A 
vegetable parer does the job quickly; 
or leave the skin on if you like. Leave 
whole, dice, or cut into round slices 
or lengthwise strips. 

Cook young, whole carrots for 15 to 
20 minutes and older ones 20 to 30 
minutes. Sliced or diced carrots may 
be cooked in as litde as 10 minutes. 
Use a small amount of water, only Mi 
to 1 cup for 6 servings of carrots; add 
Mi teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar 
to the water, if desired. Cover the pan 
so carrots will cook in the steam. 

Carrots can also be baked, particu- 
larly when you are planning an oven 
meal. Cut the carrots in half and place 
them in a casserole with }i cup water, 
2 or 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 
and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
Cover the casserole and bake at 375° F. 
for 45 minutes, or until carrots are 
tender. Whole carrots also may be 
baked with roasted meats, adding them 
in the last 45 minutes before the meat 
is done. 

Some good carrot combinations are : 

• Carrot strips and whole green snap 
beans cooked with a litde dill seed, 
sugar, and salt in the cooking water 
and served with kalian dressing. 

• Braised carrots and celery cooked 
in margarine and a litde water. 

• Carrots and onions, cut finely and 
cooked in bacon fat or margarine in a 
tighdy covered frying pan. 

• Carrots diced and creamed with 
peas and new potatoes. 

Carrots are also good sliced raw as 
a crisp relish; shredded or sliced in 
salads, either alone or with other 
vegetables; glazed in honey or brown 
sugar; or combined with meats in the 

main dish. Carrots are often used to 
give color to soups. 

For a very elegant carrot casserole, 
combine 3 cups of cooked, sliced 
carrots (fresh, frozen, or canned) with 
1 can (lOM-ounce) condensed celery 
soup, and 1 cup of shredded process 
cheese in a baking dish. Mix 1 table- 
spoon melted butter or margarine with 
}i cup of fine dry breadcrumbs and 
sprinkle on top of carrots. Bake at 
350° F. for about 20 minutes to brown 

Cauliflower. Fresh cauliflower sold at 
retail is generally wrapped in clear 
plastic film with most of the green 
outer leaf covering (the jacket leaves) 

The white, edible portion of cauli- 
flower (the curd) should be clean, 
compact, and white to creamy-white. 
A slightly "ricey" texture will not 
hurt the eating quality if the curd is 
compact. If the jacket leaves are 
attached, good green color is a sign 
of freshness. 

Frozen cauliflower is separated into 
florets, ready to cook. Grade A frozen 
cauliflower looks almost like the fresh 
product. Grade B often looks slighdy 
gray or brown but turns white when 

To cook fresh cauliflower, cut away 
the tough outer leaves and part of 
the core. The head may be left whole 
or separated into florets. Whole cauli- 
flower will cook in boiling water in 
15 to 25 minutes; florets in 8 to 15 

Cauliflower will discolor if over- 
cooked. Also, it can pick up an un- 
attractive yellowish cast if cooked in 
a hard or alkaline water. Adding a 
teaspoon of lemon juice to the water 
will help to keep the cauliflower nice 
and white. 

Because of its bland flavor, cooked 
cauliflower goes very well with many 
sauces — white, cheese, or mushroom, 
or the more highly flavored hollan- 
daise or vinaigrette sauces. To add 
interest, sprinkle the cauliflower with 
fine breadcrumbs lightiy browned in 
butter, and garnish with chopped 
fresh parsley. 


Spices and herbs that go well with 
cauliflower are caraway seed, celery 
salt, dill, mace, and tarragon. Use 
them sparingly to enhance the natural 
flavor of the cauliflower. In India, 
cauliflower is cooked with ginger, 
cloves, cardamom seeds, and cin- 
namon sticks. In Spain, grated orange 
rind is sprinkled on top. Scandinavians 
prefer a dill sauce. 

If you want to cook cauliflower like 
the Chinese do, slice each floret thinly. 
Place 1 quart florets in a heavy pan, 
sprinkle lightly with salt, and add % 
cup hot water. Cook covered about 
5 minutes or until slightly crisp. Add 
2 tablespoons each butter or mar- 
garine and heavy cream. Heat for 1 
or 2 minutes longer and serve with 
cut-up chives or parsley sprinkled on 
the top. 

Celery. Celery has many uses, both 
as a raw and cooked vegetable. Its 
crunchy goodness is important in 
salads, sandwich fillings, and as a 
relish or snack food. Raw celery stuffed 
with creamy cheese or other filling is 
an old standby. 

Most celery found in retail stores is 
of the thick-branched green varieties 
(it's known as the "Pascal" type), al- 
though Golden-type blanched celery 
may occasionally be available. Celery 
hearts are the tender inner branches 
of the stalk. 

Freshness and crispness are a must in 
celery. The stalk should have a solid, 
rigid feel. Outer branches should be 
light to medium green with a glossy 
surface. Small leaflets at the top of the 
stalk should be mosdy green and not 
more than slighdy wilted. 

Celery is usually cut up for cooking 
in a small amount of salted water, 
using about }i cup water, }i teaspoon 
salt, and \% pounds celery for 6 serv- 
ings, H cup each. Cook for about 15 
minutes in a tighdy covered pan. 
Season the drained celery with salt and 
butter, or add a white sauce. Season 
the sauce with curry, celery seed, dill 
seed, or freshly grated nutmeg. 

To make Celery Au Gratin, put 
cooked celery in white sauce in a 
baking dish, cover the top with bread- 


crumbs, and dot with butter or 
sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in a 
hot oven (400° F.) until it is lighdy 

Creamed celery is also good com- 
bined with cooked green pepper strips, 
green beans, or green peas. 

Corn. Sweet corn may have either 
white or yellow kernels, but yellow 
varieties make up most of the com- 
mercial production. 

When you buy fresh sweet corn, look 
for ears that are well covered with 
bright, plump kernels and husks that 
are fresh and green. 

Ears with small underdeveloped 
kernels are immature, and ears with 
very large, tough, deep-colored kernels 
are overmature. Avoid the ears with 
dented or shrunken kernels. Corn with 
husks that are yellow, wilted, or dried 
should be checked carefully for dented 

Processed sweet corn is found in many 
forms, styles, and grades. Canned 
corn may be cream-style with the 
kernels cut into smaller pieces so as to 
have the consistency of a very thick 
cream; whole-grain style, with the 
kernels generally whole and packed in 
a relatively clear liquid; and vacuum- 
pack whole grain, with litde or no 
free liquid. Most canned corn is pre- 
pared from yellow or orange varieties, 
but some white corn also is canned. 
"Shoe peg" corn, a whole-grain white 
corn, has small, narrow kernels with 
a distinctive flavor. 

Most frozen corn is whole-grain 
yellow corn. A considerable amount is 
frozen on the cob. 

Both canned and frozen corn may 
have peppers or pimientos or other 
foods added for flavor or appearance. 

Much processed corn is packed 
according to U.S. grades, with the 
USDA grademark on the label : 

U.S. Grade A is tender and suc- 
culent, free from defects, and has 
excellent flavor. 

U.S. Grade B is slightly more 
mature and more chewy than grade A, 
reasonably free from defects, and has 
a good flavor. 

U.S. Grade C is more mature and 

starchier than grades A and B, but it 
is flavorful and nourishing. 

Fresh sweet corn loses its good flavor 
quickly after it is picked because the 
sugar turns into starch as a result of 
enzymatic activity. 

For best quality retention, do not 
remove husks from fresh corn until it 
is to be cooked. Remove silks with a 
stiff brush. Add a teaspoon of salt to a 
large pan half full of boiling water. 
Cook corn on the cob for 5 to 15 min- 
utes, depending on its age and fresh- 
ness. Serve the corn hot with plenty of 
butter or margarine, and pass the salt 
and pepper. 

Corn in cream is a good way to use 
corn cut off the cob, either raw or 
cooked. Start with 3 cups of corn 
kernels for 6 servings. Cook the kernels 
for 8 to 10 minutes with 2 tablespoons 
of chopped onion in 3 tablespoons 
butter or margarine. Add 1 cup of 
sweet cream, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 
salt and pepper to taste. Heat and stir 
until hot. 

If preferred, use sour cream instead 
of the sweet cream, or cream cheese 
softened with milk. Add a half tea- 
spoon curry powder if you like. 

Cucumbers. Cucumbers should be a 
good green color and firm over their 
entire length. They may also have 
some white or greenish-white color and 
still be top quality. They should be 
well shaped and well developed, but 
not too large in diameter. Ignore the 
many small lumps on their surfaces; 
this is typical of good cucumbers. 

Overgrown cucumbers (those with 
large diameters) and cucumbers of a 
dull color, turning yellowish, are likely 
to have tough flesh and large hard 
seeds. Cucumbers with withered or 
shriveled ends may be somewhat bitter. 

Food uses for fresh, raw cucumbers 
are numerous. They can be sliced or 
diced and added to tossed salads or 
fancy molded salads; cut lengthwise 
into sticks for the relish tray; sliced 
and served with vinegar or sour cream ; 
or scooped out and filled with a 
favorite salad mixture. 

Cucumbers are also delicious cooked, 
although this use is less common than 

others. Sliced cucumbers are cooked 
slightly and served with thin cream 
sauce or hot vinegar, sugar, and crisp 
bacon bits. They are also used to make 
baked stuffed cucumbers. 

But of course the principal use for 
cucumbers is in pickling, either at 
home or commercially. 

Eggplant. Fresh eggplant, one of the 
more delicate vegetables, is of good 
quality when it is firm, heavy, smooth, 
uniformly dark purple, and free from 
scars or cuts. 

Poorly colored, soft, shriveled, or 
flabby eggplants are usually bitter or 
poor in flavor. 

Frying is perhaps the most well- 
known way in the United States to 
prepare eggplant. The eggplant is cut 
into ^-inch strips, dipped in batter, 
and cooked in either deep or shallow 
hot fat until browned. The batter is 
made by mixing 1 cup flour with H 
teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, and 1 
tablespoon vegetable oil, and beating 
until smooth. Drain fried eggplant on 
paper towels and sprinkle with salt. 
Serve hot and pass the grated Parme- 
san cheese for those who like this flavor 

French-fried eggplant sticks are also 
available in frozen form. 

Greens, Cooked. Many species of 
plants are grown for use as "greens." 
The better known kinds are spinach, 
kale, chard, collards, turnip, beet, 
mustard and broccoli leaves, dande- 
lion, and sorrel. Many others, some of 
them wild, are also used as greens. 

Good quality greens are fresh, 
young, tender, free from blemishes, 
and have a healthy green color. Beet 
tops and ruby chard have a reddish 

Avoid leaves with coarse stems, 
yellowish color, or those that are soft, 
wilted, or dried. Look carefully for 
signs of insects, particularly aphids. 
They are sometimes hard to see, and 
even harder to wash away. 

Various leafy greens are available 
in canned or frozen form. Among them 
are collards, kale, mustard, turnip 
greens (often with immature turnips), 
poke salad, endive, and swiss chard. 


Spinach is processed in "whole leaf' 
and chopped styles, sometimes with 
various sauces and flavorings. The 
highest grade of these products is 
produced from young, tender plants. 

Fresh greens can be delicious when 
properly prepared. Well-cooked greens 
have a bright color and sweet flavor 
and are almost crisp. When greens are 
overcooked, the green chlorophyll pig- 
ment turns to an olive brown color, 
the texture becomes soft and mushy, 
and the flavor is strong. 

To prepare greens for cooking, dis- 
card any bruised, wilted, or yellowed 
outer leaves, and cut off tough or dried 
stem ends. Strip kale leaves off the 
woody midribs. 

Wash thoroughly, using plenty of 
water for leafy greens. 

Lift greens out of water and repeat 
washing until no grit settles to the 
bottom of the pan. 

Spinach and other tender greens 
need only the water clinging to the 
leaves after washing to cook them in a 
tightly covered pan. Less tender greens 
need more water. Reduce heat after 
steam begins to escape, and cook slowly 
so that the water does not boil away. 
The secret to success in cooking greens 
is to cook until they are just tender and 
still slightly crisp. Cooking time varies 
from 3 minutes for tender spinach to 
30 minutes for mustard and turnip 
greens. Kale and chard take 10 to 15 

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons butter, mar- 
garine, or meat drippings to greens 
before cooking, if desired. For variety, 
add bits of crumbled bacon, diced 
cooked ham, or chopped hard-cooked 
eggs to the cooked greens. 

Serve greens with lemon juice orwith 
light cream and horseradish. Other 
interesting ways to prepare greens are 
scalloped, molded, or creamed; in a 
fondue or a souffle; with cheese sauce 
or mushroom sauce; Dutch style with 
bacon, vinegar, and sugar; in soups, 
in omelets, or in salads. (See "Greens, 

Wilted spinach, such as the old- 
fashioned wilted lettuce, adds color 
and zesty flavor to a meal. 



6 servings, % cup each 

3 slices bacon 

2 tablespoons flour 

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons bacon drippings 
% cup water 

Yi cup vinegar 

1 quart coarsely chopped raw spinach 

Cut bacon in H-inch pieces and fry 
until crisp. Drain bacon and save the 
drippings. Blend flour, sugar, and salt 
with the bacon drippings. Stir in water 
and vinegar and cook until thickened, 
stirring constantly. Pour the hot vine- 
gar dressing over spinach, add bacon, 
and toss to mix. 

Greens, Salad. Lettuce is the most 
important salad plant grown in the 
Nation. Four types are generally sold : 
Iceberg, Butterhead, Romaine, and 

Iceberg lettuce is by far the major 
type. Heads are large, round, and 
solid, with outer leaves medium-green. 
Inner leaves are a lighter green. 

Butterhead lettuce, including the 
Big Boston and Bibb varieties, has a 
smaller head than Iceberg. It is slightly 
flat on top and has soft, tender, pale 
inner leaves that are oily or buttery 
to the feel. 

Romaine (or Cos) lettuce plants are 
tall and cylindrical with crisp, folded, 
dark-green leaves. 

Leaf lettuce has broad, tender, suc- 
culent, fairly smooth leaves that vary 
in color depending on variety. Grown 
mainly in greenhouses or on truck 
farms for local sale, leaf lettuce is very 
delicate and usually not suitable for 
long distance shipping. 

The leaves of Iceberg lettuce and 
Romaine should be crisp. Other types 
of lettuce have a softer texture, but 
the leaves should not be wilted. Look 
for good, bright color — the shade of 
green varies with variety. 

Heads of Iceberg lettuce that are 
very hard and lack green color are 
overmature. They may have a less 
attractive flavor. Heads of irregular 
shape or with hard lumps on the top 

may have overgrown central stems, 
causing excessive waste and a slightly 
bitter flavor. Check the lettuce for tan 
or brown areas on the edge of the 
leaves. Slight discoloration of the 
outer or wrapper leaves usually will 
not hurt lettuce quality. 

Chicory or endive has narrower, 
crinkly leaves with notched edges. 
Escarole leaves are much broader and 
less crinkly than those of chicory. 
Chicory plants often have "blanched" 
yellowish leaves in the central portion 
of the head. Widoof or Belgian endive 
is a compact, cigar-shaped plant which 
is creamy white from blanching. 

Chinese cabbage is an elongated 
plant resembling celery. Some of the 
varieties develop a firm stalk, while 
others have an open, leafy form. 

Watercress is a small, round-leaved 
plant that grows naturally (or may be 
cultivated) along the banks of fresh- 
water streams or ponds. Its spicy flavor 
makes it a favorite for use as a garnish 
or in mixed green salads. 

All these salad greens should look 
fresh and crisp. 

Different types of lettuce have dis- 
tinctive roles to play in salad making. 
Iceberg lettuce is good served alone 
or in combination with other greens, 
vegetables, or fruits, as well as with 
meat, poultry, and fish salads. Boston 
or Butterhead lettuce is excellent in 
tossed green salads and as garnishes, 
but it is too soft to combine with fruits 
and vegetables. The small leaves of 
Bibb lettuce are a salad by themselves 
with a french or a russian dressing. 
Romaine lettuce retains its crispness 
in tossed salads and is famous for its 
use in Caesar Salad made with a 
special dressing and garlic-flavored 
croutons. Leaf lettuce is delightful in a 
spring salad bowl combined with 
other greens, carrot curls, and chopped 
green onions, and tossed with kalian 

The use of lettuce in sandwiches is 
almost universal. It is also popular 
prepared as "Wilted Lettuce," which 
is lettuce served with a hot bacon, 
vinegar, and sugar dressing. 

When salad greens are brought into 

your kitchen, discard any bruised 
leaves. Wash the greens thoroughly, 
and dry them well before refrigerating. 

To obtain whole leaves of Iceberg 
lettuce, cut or twist out the core and 
run water through it to loosen the 
leaves. Drain well on paper towels. 
For tossed salads, tear greens into 
bite-size pieces. For other uses, cut 
lettuce into wedges or shred it with a 
sharp knife. 

Raw spinach is also used as a salad 

The tossed green salad is by far the 
most popular salad. It is easy to make 
and a timesaver. Use one or two or 
more kinds of greens and tear into 
bite-size pieces to make about 2 quarts. 
In the salad bowl, finely chop 1 garlic 
clove, add salt and pepper, and a bit 
of dry mustard if you like; mash the 
seasonings together. Add 1 tablespoon 
vinegar or lemon juice and ){ cup 
of salad oil. Add greens just before 
serving and toss to mix. 

This basic salad can be varied by 
adding artichoke hearts, raw cauli- 
flower, celery, chives, or green onions, 
cucumbers, raw mushrooms, radishes, 
tomatoes, or any cold, cooked vege- 
table. Fruits like apples, avocados, 
grapes, pineapple, or oranges also can 
be added to the tossed salad; or you 
can add cut-up cheese, hard-cooked 
eggs, cooked meats, or seafood. 

Raw spinach salad is a refreshing 
taste sensation. Shred the spinach, add 
french or italian dressing, and garnish 
with grated hard-cooked eggs or sliced 

Mushrooms. Cultivated in caves, cel- 
lars, or special houses, the mushroom 
is an edible fungus with a cap (the 
wide portion on top), gills (the many 
rows of paper-thin tissue underneath 
the cap), and a stem. 

Young mushrooms of small to 
medium size with a white to creamy- 
white cap surface are the best quality. 
The caps should be clean and tighdy 
closed around the stem. If the caps 
are partly open, the exposed gills 
should be no darker than light tan or 

Avoid mushrooms with pitted or 


badly discolored caps, or those with 
wide open caps and dark, discolored 

Smaller mushrooms are canned in 
several styles: Whole (including the 
stems), as buttons (the top only), 
sliced, and stems and pieces. They are 
sometimes processed in butter and 
broiled before canning. Frozen mush- 
rooms are available in most of the 
same styles. 

Wash fresh mushrooms in cold water 
and then cut off the tips of the stems. 
It is not necessary to peel them. To 
prevent mushrooms from darkening 
during cooking, use lemon juice. Slice 
by cutting from the round side down 
through the stems, or remove the stems 
and use the caps, saving the stems for 
another use. 

Lightly brown fresh mushrooms in 
butter or margarine before using them 
in combination with almost all foods. 

When using canned mushrooms in 
place of fresh, the contents of three 
4-ounce cans equals 1 pound fresh 
mushrooms cooked. Browning canned 
mushrooms in butter or margarine 
before you add them to other foods 
makes their flavor more distinctive. 
Drain the liquid from caps, slices, or 
pieces of canned mushrooms. Then 
lightly brown the mushrooms in a 
little butter or margarine the same as 
you would fresh mushrooms. 


6 servings, y 3 cup each 

1 pound fresh mushrooms 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 

2 tablespoons water 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

Wash mushrooms and cut vertically 
into thin slices. Cook mushrooms in 
hot oil in frying pan for 3 minutes, 
stirring as needed. 

Combine other ingredients and stir 
into mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes 
more until the juice is translucent. 

Okra. Okra is a seed pod harvested 
in the immature stage well before the 


pods or seeds have begun to harden. 

Small whole okra pods and pods cut 
into rings are available both canned 
and frozen. Canned fermented okra is 
partially fermented in a salt brine and 
has an acid, krautlike flavor. Usually 
firm, with a bright green color, canned 
fermented okra may be served as a 
vegetable, but is usually used in soups 
or other foods. Small okra pods, 
pickled at home or commercially, are 
a favorite in the South. 

The pods of fresh, okra should be 
tender, bright green, free from blem- 
ishes, and less than 4^ inches long. 
The tips should bend with slight pres- 
sure. Pods with a pale, faded color, a 
hard body, or tips that resist bending 
are tough and fibrous. 

Scrub fresh okra pods well before 
cooking. Cut off stem end, leave small 
pods whole, and cut large pods in 
H-inch slices. Add ){ cup salted water 
to \)i pounds okra for 6 servings, and 
cook until barely tender, 10 to 15 
minutes. It may also be steamed until 
just tender. (When overcooked, okra 
may develop a gummy consistency.) 
Serve with melted butter or margarine 
or hollandaise sauce. 

For french-fried okra, dip pods in 
beaten egg and fine bread crumbs, or 
in cornmeal, then fry in deep fat or 
shallow fat. 

Chicken Gumbo is perhaps the most 
famous use for okra. To diced chicken 
meat and broth are added okra cut in 
^-inch pieces, and tomatoes, celery, 
green pepper, onion, and parsley, all 
cut finely. Simmer until vegetables are 
tender. Season to taste with salt and 
pepper. Add cooked corn or cooked 
rice, if you wish. Proportions of in- 
gredients and seasoning can be varied 
to suit the taste. 

A favorite in the South is Creole 
Okra, made by combining cooked 
okra and a spicy Creole sauce made 
with tomatoes, chopped onion, green 
pepper, and seasonings. 

Onions, Mature. The many varieties of 
onions grown for fresh market fall into 
three general classes: Globe, Granex- 
Grano, and Spanish. All three classes 
may be yellow, white, red, or brown, 

but commercial production mainly 
consists of yellow-skinned varieties. 

Globe onions are the most common 
class, and are considered primarily 
cooking onions. They are predomi- 
nandy round to oval, rather strong 
flavored, and small to medium in size. 

Granex-Grano are medium- to large- 
size onions. Mild in flavor, they are 
ideal for serving raw or cooked. Their 
shape tends to be top-shaped or flat- 
tened. Bermuda onions fall into this 

Spanish onions resemble the globes 
in shape, but are generally much 
larger. Often called "sweet Spanish," 
they are mild flavored and ideal for 
salads or slicing. 

Good-quality onions should be dry, 
hard or firm, and have small necks. 
They should be covered with a thin, 
papery outer skin and be reasonably 
free from such blemishes as green sun- 
burn spots or sunken, leatherlike areas. 

Avoid onions with a thick woody 
center in the neck or which have fresh 

Onions are also available frozen and 
canned whole and as french-fried 
onion rings. Canned whole onions are 
usually packed in a salt brine. Top- 
grade canned whole onions are fairly 
uniform in size and shape. 

Onions can be baked, boiled, fried 
in butter or margarine, french-fried 
in rings, or made into delicious french 
onion soup. 

For Baked Onions, cut peeled onions 
in half crosswise. Use 2 pounds of 
medium-size onions for 6 servings. Add 
just enough water to cover bottom of a 
baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and 
pepper and cover pan. Bake for 30 
minutes. Top with 1 cup of buttered 
bread cubes and bake uncovered 15 
to 20 minutes longer, or until cubes 
are brown and onions are tender. 

Whole onions can be cooked in 
boiling salted water for 15 to 30 
minutes, depending upon size. Add a 
medium white sauce to cooked onions 
to make creamed onions. Top with 
buttered bread crumbs and bake for 
25 minutes for scalloped onions. 

To make french-fried onions, peel 

Spanish, Bermuda, or mild white 
onions and cut into Jrinch slices. 
Separate into rings, dip in evaporated 
milk or a mixture of 2 cups milk and 
3 eggs, then into flour, coating each 
ring well. Fry in hot deep fat at 370° 
to 385° F. Drain on paper towels and 
sprinkle with salt. 

Onions, Green; Shallots; and Leeks. 
Green onions, shallots, and leeks are 
sometimes called "scallions." 

Green onions are ordinary onions 
harvested very young. They have very 
litde or no bulb formation and their 
tops are tubular. Shallots are similar 
to green onions, but grow in clusters 
and have practically no swelling at the 
base. Leeks are larger than shallots, 
have slight bulb formation and broad, 
flat, dark-green tops. 

These salad vegetables should have 
fresh, crisp, green tops and firm, well- 
blanched (white) portions extending 2 
or 3 inches up from the root end. 

Yellowing, wilted, discolored, or de- 
cayed tops indicate the bulb is flabby, 
tough, or fibrous. Bruised tops will not 
affect eating quality of the bulb. 

Parsley. Parsley can be a valuable 
addition to your diet, used as a sea- 
soning in many foods as well as a 
decorative garnish. Both curled-leaf 
and flat-leaf parsley are produced. 

Look for fresh, crisp, bright-green 
leaves. Slighdy wilted leaves can be 
freshened by trimming off the ends of 
the stems and placing them in cold 
water. Yellowed or badly wilted leaves 
are signs of aging. 

Parsnips. Parsnips of good eating 
quality are small- to medium-size, well 
formed, smooth, firm, and free from 
serious blemishes. 

Large coarse parsnips are apt to 
have a tough or woody center, and 
badly wilted and flabby parsnips are 
usually pithy or fibrous. 

For cooking, leave parsnips whole 
or pare and cut into lengthwise strips, 
slices, or cubes. Allow \}i pounds for 
six ^-cup servings. Scrub parsnips and 
cook whole in boiling salted water 
until tender. Plunge into cold water 
and slip off skins. Cook pieces in % cup 
boiling salted water for 8 to 15 minutes. 


Canned peas and mushrooms in casserole topped with white sauce, bread cubes, and paprika. 

Parsnips also are good baked in a 
covered casserole at 350° F. for 40 to 
45 minutes. Serve with melted butter, 
margarine, or cream and seasonings to 
taste. Or mash the parsnips and serve 
with a litde grated orange rind. 

Glazed Parsnips are the choice for 
some menu combinations. Cut cooked 
parsnips into strips or large pieces and 
heat them in a sirup made by blending 
Yt cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons but- 
ter or margarine, and 1 tablespoon of 
water. Cook over low heat until sirup 
is very thick, and vegetables are well 

Peas, Green. Only a small part of the 
commercial production of green peas 
is shipped to fresh market. The bulk 
of the crop is canned or frozen. 

Fresh pea pods should be bright 
green, slighdy velvety to the touch, 
and well filled. Pods which are swollen, 
light in color, or flecked with gray may 


contain tough, poorly flavored peas. 
Pods containing very immature peas 
are usually flat, dark green in color, 
and may have a wilted appearance. 

Peas, both canned and frozen, are 
among the most popular processed 
vegetables. Two types of peas are used 
for canning — the smooth-skinned early 
or early June type and the dimple- 
skinned or sweet type. Most peas for 
freezing are the sweet type, especially 
developed for deep-green color. 

U.S. Grade A or Fancy canned peas 
are tender and flavorful, and their 
color is the typical soft pea-green. The 
juice is slightly green and waterlike. 
Off-color peas are rarely found in a 
can at this grade. 

U.S. Grade B or Extra Standard 
canned peas may be slightly mealy, 
but have a very good flavor. Their 
color may be variable -and a few off- 
color peas or broken peas may be in a 

can. The liquid may be a slightly 
cloudy, light green. 

U.S. Grade C or Standard canned 
peas tend to be slighdy mealy, and do 
not taste as sweet as Grades A and B. 
They are a dull pea-green and some 
blond or cream-colored or broken peas 
may be in a can. The liquid may be 
very cloudy with a starchy flavor. 

Like fresh corn, fresh peas should be 
used soon because they begin to lose 
tenderness and sweetness shordy after 
they are picked from the vine. 

Cooked peas may be served with 
butter or margarine, in a cream sauce, 
in vegetable salads, in soups and stews, 
and in combination with many other 
foods. Several pleasing combinations 
follow : 

• Creamed peas and new potatoes with 
chopped chives or chopped spring 

• Peas and crisp-cooked celery with 
chopped canned pimiento for a touch 
of color, sprinkled with salt, pepper, 
and savory seasoning. 

• Peas and corn in light cream topped 
with lightiy browned ham slivers. 

• Curried peas and onions using fresh 
or frozen peas and small, white cooked 

• Buttered peas cooked with thinly 
sliced mushrooms and a thinly sliced 

• Old-fashioned peas and carrots, 
dressed up with chives and cream 
cheese thinned with milk to desired 

For a fresh springtime flavor, add 
freshly chopped or dried mint, grated 
lemon peel, and butter or margarine 
to the cooked green peas. Marjoram 
and oregano are two other seasonings 
that lend unusual flavors to peas alone 
or paired with other vegetables. 

Peppers. Most peppers you find in 
food stores are the sweet green type. 

Peppers should be medium to dark 
green, relatively heavy for their size, 
and have a glossy sheen and crisp, firm 
walls or sides. 

Peppers with very thin walls (indi- 
cated by light weight and flimsiness) 

and peppers that are wilted or flabby 
should be avoided, as well as those that 
are cut or punctured. 

Frozen peppers are convenient to 
use for stuffing or as garnish. Both 
green and red peppers (fully matured 
green peppers) are frozen whole, with 
or without stems, as well as halved, 
sliced, and diced. Red and green 
peppers are occasionally available in 
cans, too. 

Sweet peppers are good either raw 
or cooked. For some uses, as in anti- 
pasto, they need to be peeled. This is 
easy to do if the peppers are first 
roasted in a very hot oven (450° F.) 
for 3 to 4 minutes, or over a hot flame 
until the skin is blistered and dark. 
Cool the peppers in cold water and 
rub off the blackened skin. 

Brief parboiling for about 5 minutes 
in boiling salted water is desirable if 
peppers are to be stuffed. First cut off 
the tops and remove the seeds and ribs. 
After heating, drain well and fill with 
some well-seasoned mixture of cooked 
meat and rice or mashed potatoes, 
rice and cheese, or even corned beef 
hash. Pour 1 cup water or tomato 
sauce around peppers. Bake at 375° F. 
for 30 minutes if stuffing is precooked, 
an hour if not. 

Sweet peppers are delicious, too, 
cut in strips, cooked briefly in garlic- 
flavored vegetable oil, and seasoned 
to taste with salt and pepper. 

To make a popular Italian Anti- 
pasto, cut peeled peppers into even 
strips and arrange them on a plate. 
Top each strip with 1 or 2 anchovy 
fillets, and sprinkle with pepper, olive 
oil, and capers. 

Stuffed green peppers are delightful 
for salads. Try filling the crisp green 
peppers with a colorful mixture of 
lighdy cooked and marinated vege- 
tables — carrot cubes, snap beans, and 
cauliflower pieces. Any of your favor- 
ite salad mixtures is made more 
glamorous when it is served in a pep- 
per shell. 

Potatoes. In general, potatoes can be 
classed as long or round and white, 
red, or russet. It would also be desir- 
able to classify potatoes for use, as 


boiling, baking, or frying. Unfor- 
tunately, this is not possible because 
of the wide range" of growing and 
storage conditions as well as personal 

New potatoes are freshly harvested 
and not fully mature. They often have 
skinned areas. Late crop potatoes are 
harvested at a more mature stage and 
put into storage for winter and spring 
shipment. They are generally con- 
sidered more suitable for baking than 
new potatoes. 

Look for reasonably smooth, well- 
shaped, firm potatoes that are free 
from blemishes. In new potatoes, some 
amount of skinned surface is normal, 
but large skinned and discolored areas 
are undesirable. 

Avoid potatoes with gouges or 
bruises (they'll mean waste in peeling), 
those with a green color, or those that 
are sprouted or shriveled. 

Processed white potatoes are avail- 
able in many forms: Canned, small 
whole potatoes in salt brine; french- 
fried shoe strings vacuum-packed, and 
ready to eat; frozen french-fried in 
many sizes and shapes; frozen deep- 
fried small, whole potatoes; sliced or 
diced products; and patties or puffs 
made from mashed potatoes; and the 
frozen, unfried products — ready-to- 
cook patties, or whole, sliced, diced, 
or shredded potatoes. 

Dehydrated potatoes are also avail- 
able in many attractive forms. Among 
the most popular for home use are 
flakes or granules to make mashed 

The ways to prepare potatoes are 
endless. They may be used frequently 
in meals because of their bland flavor 
and of the variety of ways to serve 
them — roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, 
fried, creamed, browned, french-fried, 
hash browned, in salads, stews, and 

The baked potato is almost an insti- 
tution in America and other countries 
as well. Potatoes can be baked either 
at 350° F. (along with other foods) for 
1 hour 10 minutes or in a very hot 
oven (450° F.) for 40 minutes. When 
the potatoes feel soft and are easily 


pierced with a fork, they are done. 
Cut a cross into top of each potato and 
press the sides of the potato to open it 
and let the steam out. 

Butter and dairy sour cream are 
well-liked accompaniments. Other in- 
teresting garnitures are chopped green 
onions and chives, minced parsley, 
caraway seeds, chopped dill, minced 
red peppers, sliced stuffed olives, 
toasted sesame seeds, or crumbled 
fried bacon or salt pork. 

Potato salad, one more American 
favorite, can be varied in dozens of 
ways by adding ingredients such as 
diced cheese or diced ham or other 
cooked meat. In Finland, they add 
diced carrots, diced beets, and salted 
herring. In Sweden, additional in- 
gredients may include chopped apple 
and diced cucumbers, with sliced egg 
for decoration. 

Radishes. Good quality radishes are 
medium sized (% to 1 inch in diame- 
ter), with good red color, and they 
are plump, round, firm, and crisp. 

Very large or spongy radishes are 
likely to have pithy centers. Dark, dis- 
colored spots may indicate decay or 
aging. Yellow or decayed tops of 
bunched radishes are signs of overage, 
but don't always mean the radishes 
are of poor quality. 

Wash radishes well and cut them in 
attractive ways to use on the relish 
plate or to garnish salads. 

Squash. The many varieties of squash 
can be divided into two general 
classes: Summer and winter. 

Summer squash is harvested while 
still immature, at a stage when the 
entire squash is tender and edible. The 
yellow crookneck, the large yellow 
straightneck, the scalloped greenish- 
white or yellow patty pan, the slender 
green zucchini, and Italian marrow 
are all summer types. 

Winter squash is marketed only 
when fully matured, when the rind 
has become hard and tough. Butter- 
nut, buttercup, banana, green and 
blue hubbard, the small corrugated 
acorn, and green and gold delicious 
are among the winter types. 

Summer squash should be firm, well 

formed, and have a glossy, fresh ap- 
pearance. Summer squash with a dull 
appearance and a hard, tough rind is 
stale or overmature. Such squash will 
usually have enlarged seeds and dry, 
stringy flesh. Winter squash should be 
heavy for its size (this means it has a 
thick wall and more edible flesh) and 
have a hard rind. Slight variations in 
rind color will not affect flavor. Win- 
ter squash with a tender rind is im- 
mature and has poor eating quality. 

Canned and frozen summer squash 
is made from small succulent squashes 
usually cut crossways. Several varieties 
are available, including the flavorful 

Canned and frozen winter squashes, 
very similar to pumpkin, are usually 
cooked and ready for use ^ as a vege- 
table or in a pie filling. 

Fresh summer squashes should be 
scrubbed clean, but do not need to be 
pared. They may be left whole or cut 
into slices or cubes. They are best 
cooked in a very small amount of water 
(about }{ cup for 6 servings) in a cov- 
ered saucepan for 8 to 15 minutes. 

For flavoring, during cooking add 
finely chopped onion or chives, a table- 
spoon of butter or margarine, or a 
bouillon cube. A sprinkle of sugar gives 
summer squash a fresher taste. Cook 
over low heat until squash is tender, 
then uncover and boil rapidly for a 
few minutes to evaporate excess liquid. 
Be careful not to overcook. Summer 
squash will have better acceptance 
when it is slightly crisp and holds its 

For baking, whole, young zucchini 
squash are a good choice. When almost 
cooked, slit lengthwise and add strips 
of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. 

Small, hard-type squashes are often 
cut in half and baked, and served in 
the shell. Larger squashes are cut into 
individual servings. Seeds and stringy 
portions should be removed before 
cooking. Add butter or margarine, 
brown sugar, and salt and pepper, as 
desired, and bake it in a hot oven 
(400° F.) for 30 to 60 minutes, or until 
tender. Covering the squash with foil 
for the first half of the baking period 

allows it to steam and shortens the 
baking time. For unexpected interest, 
sprinkle a little cinnamon or nutmeg 
on squash before baking, or mix % cup 
of orange juice frozen concentrate, 
}i cup honey, and 1 teaspoon salt; 
put some of the mixture in each squash 

Sweetpotatoes. Two general types of 
sweetpotatoes are grown commercially. 

One type, sometimes called "Yams" 
or "Porto Ricans," has a soft, moist 
texture when cooked and very sweet, 
orange to orange-red flesh. Depending 
on variety, the skin may be orange, 
pale rose, or copper-red. 

The second type, when cooked, is 
firm, somewhat dry and mealy, and 
has pale orange to light yellow flesh. 
The skin is usually a light yellow to 
fawn colored. The popularity and 
production of this type has dwindled 

Processed sweetpotatoes come in 
diverse forms, from only partially 
cooked to almost ready to eat. Canned 
sweetpotatoes may be vacuum-packed, 
without any liquid, in a sirup, or 
solid pack (solid pack is tightly packed 
with little liquid). They are canned 
whole, mashed, or as pieces. Frozen 
sweetpotatoes are available whole or 
halved, peeled or unpeeled, baked, 
stuffed in a shell, sliced, french cut, 
diced, mashed, and sometimes formed 
into cakes. 

Dehydrated sweetpotatoes need only 
hot water added to produce a mashed 
sweetpotato that can be served with 
butter or used in recipes calling for 
mashed sweetpotatoes. 

Fresh sweetpotatoes should be well- 
shaped and firm, with smooth, bright, 
uniformly colored skins. 

Sweetpotatoes can be boiled, baked, 
browned, fried, or candied, or used 
for making pies, custard, cookies, and 

For best flavor and nutritive value, 
always cook sweetpotatoes whole in 
their jackets — it takes 35 to 55 minutes 
in boiling water and about 35 to 60 
minutes in a hot oven (425° F.). The 
moist type cooks in less time than the 
mealy type. 


Delicious Sweetpotato Puff can be 
prepared from either fresh, canned, or 
dehydrated sweetpotatoes. 


6 servings, % cup each 

2 cups mashed sweetpotatoes 
%cup hot milk 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
% teaspoon salt 

% teaspoon allspice 

1 tablespoon grated orange rind 

2 eggs 

To the sweetpotatoes add the milk, 
fat, salt, allspice, and orange rind. 
Mix well. Separate eggs. Beat the egg 
yolks and add to sweetpotato mixture. 
Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold the 
potato mixture into the whites. Place 
in a baking dish and bake at 350° F. 
for 45 minutes. 

Tomatoes. The tomato is a colorful 
and a nutritious asset to any meal, 
served in soups or salads, vegetable 
dishes, sauces, spicy relishes, and pre- 
serves for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Best flavor usually comes from 
"home-grown" tomatoes produced on 
nearby farms because these tomatoes 
are generally allowed to fully ripen 
on the vine. Many areas, however, 
now ship tomatoes which are picked 
after the color has begun to change 
from green to pink. These have flavor 
almost as satisfying as "home-grown" 

Canned tomatoes are usually peeled 
and packed in their own juice but 
they may have some added tomato 
pulp or semisolid paste. The higher 
grades have a better color, usually 
more whole than broken pieces, and 
are free from peel, core, and other 
defects. U.S. Grade A Whole is a 
special grade, consisting principally 
of whole tomatoes. 

Many canned tomato specialties, 
different from those you may usually 
buy, are becoming available. They 
include pear- or plum-shaped toma- 
toes, slices, dices, and other forms 
which are firm and have litde juice. 
Many of these may be used in salads. 


Fresh tomatoes should be well 
formed, smooth, plump, well ripened, 
and reasonably free from blemishes. 
For fully ripe fruit, look for an overall 
rich red color and a slight softness. 
Softness can be detected with gende 
handling. For tomatoes less than fully 
ripe, look for firm texture and color 
ranging from pink to light red. Green 
tomatoes should be kept at room tem- 
perature away from direct sunlight to 
continue ripening. 

Avoid overripe and bruised toma- 
toes (they are both soft and watery), 
tomatoes with distincdy yellow areas 
around the shoulder, those with deep 
growth cracks. 

When fresh tomatoes are plentiful, 
serve them sliced, stuffed, in salads, 
or baked whole. Cut fresh tomatoes in 
half, and broil or bake them. To perk 
up the flavor, top with grated cheese 
or buttered crumbs, salt, and paprika. 
Fresh or canned tomatoes are fine in 
combination with almost any other 

Green tomatoes are used for frying, 
pickling, and combining with other 

Either green or ripe tomatoes cut in 
K-inch slices can be fried in a small 
amount of hot fat. Dip the slices into 
flour, salt, and pepper or in fine, dry 
breadcrumbs before frying. 

For a luncheon or dinner, Baked 
Stuffed Whole Tomatoes are a real 
treat. Stuff them with cheddar cheese, 
chips of crisp bacon, and some of the 
tomato pulp scooped from the center. 
Top with more bacon and cheese and 
pop into the broiler until browned 
slighdy. Another popular stuffing for 
tomatoes, Savory Crumb Stuffing, is 
made from a quart of soft bread- 
crumbs, 1 teaspoon of poultry season- 
ing, and salt to taste. Cook 1 chopped 
onion and % cup chopped celery in % 
cup butter for about 5 minutes, and 
mix with breadcrumbs and tomato 
centers. Stuff tomatoes and bake at 
375° F. for about 15 minutes. 

Turnips, Rutabagas. The most popu- 
lar variety of turnips has white flesh 
and a purplish tinting of the upper 

Rutabagas are distinctively yellow- 
fleshed, large-sized relatives of turnips. 
Rutabagas are usually coated with a 
thin layer of paraffin to prevent shriv- 
eling and loss of moisture. The paraffin 
is easily removed by peeling before 

Good quality turnips are small or 
medium sized, smooth, fairly round, 
and firm. If sold in bunches, the tops 
should be fresh and green. Rutabagas 
should be heavy in relation to their 
size, smooth, round to moderately 
elongated, and firm. Both should have 
only a few leaf scars at the crown and 
very few fibrous roots at the base. 

Avoid turnips or rutabagas that are 
soft or shriveled, cut or punctured. 
Those that are light in weight for their 
size are likely to be tough, woody, 
pithy, and strong flavored. 

Rutabagas and turnips are cooked 
in the same way — peeled and cooked 
in large pieces if they are to be mashed, 
or cut into small cubes if they are to 
be buttered or creamed. Turnips may 
be cooked whole in 20 to 30 minutes; 
cut-up turnips take only half as long to 

Turnips and rutabagas are excellent 
additions to stews and soups, enhanc- 
ing the flavor of the other ingredients, 
as well as their own. 

A vegetable medley of cooked diced 
turnips, diced carrots, and green peas 
makes a pretty color and interesting 
flavor combination, seasoned with salt 

and pepper, and butter or margarine. 

For a special occasion, creamed 
turnips can be topped with shredded 
cheddar cheese and baked in a moder- 
ate oven just long enough to melt the 
cheese. Cooked turnip sticks sprinkled 
with lemon juice, finely chopped 
onion, and parsley is another interest- 
ing way to vary this vegetable. 

Raw turnips, with their nippy flavor, 
are good additions to the relish tray or 
the salad bowl. 

For further reading: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fam- 
ily Fare: Food Management and Recipes. Home 
and Garden Bulletin 1, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1966. 

Home Canning of Fruits and Vege- 
tables. Home and Garden Bulletin 8, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20250, 1965. 

Home Care of Purchased Frozen Foods. 

Home and Garden Bulletin 69, Washington, 
D.C. 20250, 1967. 

Home Freezing of Fruits and Vege- 
tables. Home and Garden Bulletin 10, 
Washington, D.C. 20250, 1967. 

How to Buy Fresh Vegetables. Home 

and Garden Bulletin 143, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1967. 

Shopper's Guide for Canned Peas. 

Program Aid 728, Washington, D.C. 20250, 

Storing Perishable Foods in the Home. 

Home and Garden Bulletin 78, Washington, 
D.C. 20250, 1967. 

Storing Vegetables and Fruits in 

Basements, Cellars, Outbuildings, and Pits. Home 
and Garden Bulletin 119, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1966. 

Vegetables in Family Meals. Home 

and Garden Bulletin 105, Washington, D.C. 
20250, 1968. 

This vegetable platter combines carrots, beets, green snap beans, and swiss chard. 

Bernice K. McGeary 
Malcolm E. Smith 

Nuts, a Shell 
Game That 
Pays Off in 
Good Eating 

Nuts in a bowl are attractive and 
taste tempting any time of the year 
and are an American tradition during 
the Thanksgiving and Christmas holi- 
days. There is a certain satisfaction in 
obeying that impulse to crack and eat 
some of them. 

Nuts play an important role in our 
diet. They rank high for good eating 
and nutrition. 

The many kinds of nuts, broadly 
speaking, are marketed in just a few 
forms: In the shell or as shelled ker- 
nels; and raw or roasted. 

Mixed kinds, in demand both for 
appearance and variety of flavor, are 
perhaps the most popular in-shell nuts. 
They are usually made up of almonds, 
brazil nuts, filberts, pecans, and wal- 
nuts. But each kind of these in-shell 
nuts can also be found singly at many 
food markets in late fall and early 
winter. Other kinds of nuts commonly 
offered for sale in the shell are coco- 
nuts, peanuts, and pistachios, and 
sometimes pine nuts — the last three 
generally roasted. 

In-shell peanuts are available to 
most consumers in the roasted form 
known as "ball-park peanuts." Actu- 


ally, peanuts belong to the pea and 
bean family, but they are classified 
with nuts because they are similar in 
use and food value. A major difference 
is that around half of the peanuts 
produced go into peanut butter. 

Raw nut meats most likely to be on 
the grocer's shelf are walnuts, pecans, 
almonds, and black walnuts. They are 
offered in a variety of packages, 
qualities, and sizes of pieces at a wide 
range of prices. Raw shelled peanuts, 
brazils, filberts, and cashews appear in 
relatively few stores to supply a limited 

A price comparison between in-shell 
and shelled nuts may be of interest to 
you as a buyer. For a method of ap- 
proach, say that a pound of English 
walnuts in the shell costs 60 cents, and 
1 pound contains approximately 7 
ounces of kernels. This cost, compared 
with the retail price of 7 ounces of 
nutmeats, tells the story. One pound 
of other kinds of in-shell nuts will 
yield these approximate ounces of 
nutmeats: Almonds, 6}£; brazils, 8; 
filberts, 7; pecans, 6%; and black 
walnuts, 3)i. 

Roasted, mixed salted nuts usually 
include three or more kinds. Peanuts, 
cashews, brazils, almonds, and filberts 
are used most. Percentage of each in a 
mix varies widely among commercial 
packers, and is reflected in prices. 
Peanuts are often the least expensive 
nuts, and this creates an incentive to 
use more of them in the mix. In view 
of this fact, some packers label their 
packages either "with peanuts" or 
"without peanuts." 

Some nuts on the market are dry 
roasted. The term "dry" simply means 
that no fat has been added. In addi- 
tion, there are low-calorie peanuts 
which have had a high percentage of 
the fat removed. Since much of the 
flavor of nuts is in the fat, "defatted" 
ones are milder in peanut flavor. 

Bernice K. McGeary is a Nutritionist with the 
Consumer Use of Foods Staff, Human Nutrition 
Research Division, Agricultural Research Service. 

Malcolm E. Smith, now retired, was a Market- 
ing Specialist, Fruit and Vegetable Division, 
Consumer and Marketing Service. 

Volumewise, processed coconut is 
one of the most important nuts. It 
is marketed almost exclusively in 
sweetened, grated, or shredded forms. 
Its flavor and texture are similar to 
fresh coconut. Sometimes, more perish- 
able coconut that is labelled "fresh" 
is sold in stores where it can be quickly 
moved for immediate use. 

Grade standards have been estab- 
lished for a number of kinds of nuts 
by the Consumer and Marketing 
Service of the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture. Use of standards is not 
compulsory, nor are packers of nuts 
required to mark containers with 
grade designations. However, if a 
package of nuts is so marked, the 
packer is legally obligated to make the 
contents meet requirements of the 
grade specified. Hence, a grademark 
on a container is a reliable indicator 
of the quality. The upper grades pro- 
vided in each of the existing standards 
are listed in a table below; 

Inspection service is made available 
at cost to the nut packing industry 
by the Consumer and Marketing 
Service and cooperating State depart- 
ments of agriculture. Government 
inspectors will, upon request, deter- 
mine and certify the quality and grade 
of a specific lot of nuts. 

Some packers of nuts have con- 
tracted with USDA's Inspection Serv- 
ice to have "continuous inspection" 
at their plants. Inspectors are present 
in such plants at all times. A packer 

agrees to place high-quality nuts in 
his packages in return for the privilege 
of printing the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture quality shield or the state- 
ment "USDA Inspected" on his con- 
tainers. This shield indicates the best 
quality grade, and the "USDA In- 
spected" indicates a very good quality. 

Selection of nuts deserves care. Like 
the cover of a book, the shell of a nut 
may be deceiving. Fully developed 
shells can contain defective or poorly 
developed kernels even though the 
shells may be bleached or dyed and 
waxed to improve their appearance. 

Price alone is not a reliable basis 
for judging quality of either shelled, 
unshelled, or roasted nuts. Price tags 
may be governed by kind, size, form 
of nutmeats, a name, or other factors 
rather than the actual quantity and 
quality of the nut kernels. 

The best aid to the shopper is a 
statement on the label which shows 
that the nuts are of a certain U.S. 
grade, or they have been subjected to 
USDA inspection, or both. 

When nuts are ungraded or do not 
carry the inspection mark or USDA 
shield, you will especially need to look 
for other signs of quality. Sometimes 
experience will teach you that certain 
brand or packers' names are meaning- 
ful. There are more guides which are 
related to particular forms of nuts. 

Most in-shell nuts are found in the 
colorfully printed "see-through" bags 
or "window" boxes. Although these 

U.S. Grade Standards for Nuts 

Kind of Nut 


Description of quality 




English walnuts 



Mixed nuts (almonds, brazils, 
filberts, pecans, and English 

Shelled, raw 

English walnuts 


Peanut butter 

U.S. No. 1 Best quality. 

U.S. Extra Fancy Best quality and largest sizes. 

At least 1(5 percent but not over 40 

percent of each kind in the mixture. 
U.S. Fancy Same quality and mixture, but permits 

smaller sizes of some kinds. 

U.S. Fancy Best quality. 

U.S. Extra No. 1 Almost the best — permits a few dou- 
bles and broken. 

U.S. No. 1 Very good quality — permits more dou- 
bles and broken. 

U.S. No. 1 Best quality. 

U.S. No. 1 

U.S. Grade A 


containers allow somewhat limited 
observation of the contents, label in- 
formation may be helpful to the con- 
sumer. Nuts which are available in 
bulk permit thorough, unobstructed 
examination of individual nuts for 
good or bad factors which determine 
the quality. 

Nuts with clean, bright shells are 
likely to contain good kernels. Shells 
that are dull, dirty, or stained, and 
those that are cracked or broken are 
sometimes indicative of defective ker- 
nels inside. More important is weight 
of individual nuts in proportion to 
their size. The heavier the nut, the 
meatier the kernel. 

Good coconuts are relatively easy to 
select. First, shake the coconut to de- 
termine that it has a large amount of 
liquid or "milk." This is the most im- 
portant indication of freshness. Then 
examine the "eyes," those three small, 
circular, depressed areas near one end 
of the coconut. Eyes should be solid — 
not cracked or punctured. Finally, look 
over the entire shell to make sure it is 
not cracked. 

Chestnuts can be deceiving in ap- 
pearance, but there are a few criteria 
which may guide shoppers. Heavy 
weight is the best single indication of 
a sound, fresh kernel. Shells should be 
somewhat glossy and should be pliable 
under pressure from the fingers. They 
should also be free from mold. 

Choosing shelled nuts may be a con- 
fusing matter to the consumer who is 
faced with a large assortment of small 
packages. The task can be made easier 
and more successful if a few general 
factors relating to quality are known. 

In transparent containers, the con- 
tents can be seen, yet nutmeats are 
protected from oxidation and contam- 
ination. Vacuum-packed metal cans 
more completely protect the contents 
from effects of air, light, and contami- 
nation, but shoppers cannot inspect 
the nuts before buying. 

As a rule, broken kernels or "pieces" 
are less expensive than whole kernels 
or "halves" of the same kind of nuts. 
The smaller pieces are just as well or 
better suited for a great many uses. 


Exposed flesh of broken or chopped 
nutmeats should be light colored and 
look fresh, though color will vary 
somewhat with the kind of nut. Yellow- 
ish, oily appearance indicates aging 
with probable stale flavor or possible 
early stages of rancidity. 

Color of the skin covering the nut- 
meat may also vary with the age and 
kind of nut. Although lighter color is 
generally considered preferable, this is 
largely a matter of appearance. 

Large amounts of powdery material 
and "chaff" or "meal" in a package 
may be due to poor screening before 
packing. However, plastic bags some- 
times create static electricity and 
attract particles which give an exag- 
gerated impression of the amount of 
meal present. 

Close examination of nutmeats in 
transparent containers will give assur- 
ance that they are apparently free 
from spoiled kernels and pieces of shell. 

Roasted and salted nuts can be 
chosen by most of the same basic 
quality guides as for shelled, raw nuts. 
Sometimes the advice of a reputable 
merchant is helpful. 

Keeping quality of nuts depends on 
the way you treat good ones. Under 
poor conditions, some kinds become 
inedible within a month. Ideally 
stored, these same kinds of nuts have 
retained top quality for 5 years. 

Most nuts can soon lose flavor or 
develop off-flavor and darken, or they 
can mold if not protected from air, 
heat, light, and excessive moisture. 

Rancidity is perhaps the worst 
enemy of kinds of nuts that are highest 
in fat. Generally speaking, nutmeats 
are 50 to 70 percent fat, except for 
coconuts that are 35 to 40 percent fat, 
and chestnuts with only a trace. The 
fat reacts with oxygen from the air to 
cause "oxidation" or development of 
rancid flavor and odor. 

You can keep in-shell nuts that are 
highest in fat in a cool, dry basement 
throughout the winter. Shelled ones 
retain top quality in tightly closed 
containers in the refrigerator for 6 
months or more, or in the freezer at 
0° F. for 2 years. The high-fat nuts 

keep longer at low temperatures or 
unshelled and unroasted. Shelled nuts 
also keep longer if kernels are un- 
broken (less surface exposed to air), 
vacuum packed, or are processed with 

Peanut butter, consisting of roasted 
and ground peanuts, will deteriorate 
less rapidly after the container is 
opened if it is refrigerated. 

Fresh coconuts and chestnuts are 
more perishable than other nuts. If 
refrigerated, coconuts will keep up to 
a month and chestnuts should keep 
several months. Chestnuts must be 
treated differently from other nuts. 
They are more like a starchy vegetable 
and need to be stored in loosely 
covered containers or ventilated plastic 
bags. This prevents accumulation of 
moisture on the nuts but keeps them 
from becoming dry and hard. 

To freeze nutmeats, pack them in 
tighdy closed containers or in plastic 
bags. Wrap chunks of fresh coconut 
tightly to expel the air from around 
them. Cover fresh, shredded coconut 
with liquid (milk) drained from the 
coconut. Blanch chestnut meats before 

freezing them; cook frozen ones with- 
out defrosting. 

Nuts are versatile foods. They are 
shared with the monkeys at the zoo, 
and they go to the fanciest party. 
Nuts also "dress-up" any part of a 
meal — fruit cup or soup, main dish or 
stuffing, salad or salad dressing, vege- 
table or vegetable sauce, all types of 
breads, and a multitude of desserts. 

Preparation of nuts may be com- 
plete if you buy them already shelled. 
They are available whole, cut, broken, 
or ground; and they are either raw or 
roasted in a number of ways. Some 
kinds are blanched. Processed coconut 
is grated or shredded in different ways 
and it comes in varying degrees of 
moistness. In-shell nuts, on the other 
hand, may require considerable time 
and attention before they are usable. 

Shelling nuts is a slow, awkward 
process for some persons — fun only for 
snacking. Experience brings more 
speed and ease and less broken nut- 
meats. Hard shells may be easier to 
crack if nuts are first soaked in warm 
water several hours or overnight. Nut- 
meats will come out less broken too, 

Coconut yule log — frosting with coconut over a jelly roll. 

Above, three peanut flavored drinks and peanut butterscotch squares. In photo on opposite 

page, Roll It In Peanuts is the theme. 


but will need to be dried before storing. 

To prepare a fresh coconut, pierce 
the "eyes" and drain out the "milk." 
Place the coconut on a firm surface 
and strike it with a hammer in several 
places to crack the shell. Remove nut- 
meat from the shell. Separation is 
easier if the coconut is either baked at 
325° F. for about 25 minutes or is 
frozen before cracking. Then use a 
vegetable parer to remove the brown 
skin from the coconut meat. 

Removing thick skins from some 
nut meats gives them a more delicate 
flavor and better appearance. 

"Blanching" is a common term for 
this process. 

To loosen skins of raw almonds or 
peanuts, let them stand in boiling 
water for about 3 minutes or roast 
them. The skins should then slide off 
easily. Loosen the skins on filberts by 
baking them at 300° F. for 10 to 15 
minutes. Let shelled chestnuts stand 
in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove 
a few nuts at a time, cool slighdy, and 
peel them. Reheat chestnuts that are 
difficult to peel. 

Roasting nuts is an ancient custom. 

Flavor and color usually become richer 
and nuts are more crisp when roasted 
or toasted. There are a few nuts, 
peanuts being most common, which 
so often reach the consumer roasted 
that many people have never tasted 
raw ones. Freshly prepared nuts are 
always best. It is quick and easy to 
roast or toast them for snack treats or 
for use in recipes, but watch them care- 
fully because nuts scorch easily! 

To roast or toast nutmeats or proc- 
essed coconut in the oven, spread in a 
shallow pan. For richer flavor and 
more even browning, mix a teaspoon 
of oil or melted fat with each cup of 
nuts. Bake at 350° F. for 5 to 12 
minutes until lightly browned, stirring 
occasionally. Salt the hot nuts, if you 
desire. Add a little fat to help make 
the salt cling, if needed. 

Nutmeats or processed coconut can 
also be toasted in a heavy pan on top 
of the range. Heat them slowly for 10 
to 15 minutes until lighdy browned, 
stirring frequendy. 

Roast in-shell peanuts in a shallow 
pan at 350° F., stirring occasionally, 
about 18 minutes or until skins slip off 
easily and kernels are a rich brown. 

"Chestnuts roasted on an open fire" 
are an American legend. Along with 
extinction of the native chestnut went 
frequent appearance of this nut in the 
home. If you are tasting roasted 
chestnuts for the first time, you will be 
surprised to find that the nutmeats are 
sweet and have been softened by 
cooking. Their texture is somewhat 
like cooked potatoes; both are starchy 
foods. And if you're roasting chestnuts 
for the first time, you may be shocked 
and have an oven to clean, too, if you 
are unaware of another characteristic 
of these nuts. They will explode unless 
the shells are slit before heating to 
allow steam to escape. Of course, some 
say that one nut should be allowed to 
"pop" and thereby announce that all 
are roasted. 

For roasting chestnuts, slash each 
nut through the shell on the flat side. 
Place them, cut sides up, on a baking 
sheet. Roast at 400° F. about 20 min- 
utes until tender. 


Using nuts as food was a custom of 
North American Indians. Colonists no 
doubt found their inheritance of nuts 
provided both subsistence and good 
eating. Nutmeats were added to stews 
or were ground into meals for breads 
or puddings. Some were even made 
into milklike beverages. 

Old recipes using acorns as human 
food only make conversation today — 
the squirrels can have these nuts. On 
the other hand, imagine where we 
would stand without some of the kinds 
of nuts handed down to us — black 
walnuts, filberts (cultivated hazelnuts), 
and pecans. 

When nuts are a part of foods, they 
contribute rich flavor, give contrast in 
texture, and make a pleasing garnish. 

You can substitute any common nut, 
except chestnuts and coconut, for an- 
other kind in recipes. Each nut will, 
of course, add its own special flavor. 
Salted nuts should not replace un- 
salted ones unless salt can be reduced 
in the recipe. Any peanuts used should 
be roasted or toasted ones unless they 
will brown in preparation of the food. 
Do not use ground-up nuts or peanut 
butter for other forms of nuts. 

The black walnut is the only com- 
mon nut with such full flavor that it is 
almost never roasted. It is often the 
primary flavor of a food. 

Nut britde is especially good when 
made with most any kind of freshly 
roasted nuts, including mixed ones. 
You can even brown raw peanuts right 
in the candy as it cooks, if desired. 

Soups have been one of the least 
likely places for nuts to appear. The 
author of the expression "soup to nuts" 
perhaps never thought of combining 
the two. Now they seem to be used 
this way to some extent around most 
of the world. You can use pecans to 
make Cream of Nut Soup into a 
Mardi Gras special or use cashews for 
a San Juan version. For a Ghana-like 
peanut soup, use peanut butter. 

To keep nuts crisp in foods, add 
them just before serving or use them 
as a garnish. Dry or toast any limp 
nuts such as frozen, defrosted ones 
before using them. 


To extend nut flavor in foods, use 
small pieces, roast or toast them, or 
use more highly flavored nuts. Flavor 
is enhanced when nuts are used with 
brown sugar instead of white or by 
adding a little maple or almond flavor 
to some foods. 

Macadamias and pine nuts are not 
as widely known as nuts that are more 
available and perhaps lower in price. 
Either is a real treat. 

Macadamias look much like hazel- 
nuts, but are competitors of cashews for 
flavor. They are good raw, but only 
roasted ones may be available to you 
unless you live where they are grown, 
in Hawaii and California. 

Pine nuts are a Biblical food. The 
many varieties of these pine seeds come 
under the broad name, "pignolias." 
Common ones in Europe and Brazil 
are longer than the popular, tiny 
"Indian" nuts of our Southwestern 
States. Some European varieties have 
a slight turpentine flavor unless the 
nuts are cooked. The "pinon" (Span- 
ish for pine), which includes Indian 
nuts, is the most common kind. Con- 
fectioners like this nut for a dainty 

Pine nuts are used in all kinds of 
foods and make gourmet mixed, salted 

You can "experiment" with nuts. 
Special recipes are not always needed. 
It takes only a little imagination to 
make "company fare" of plain food. 
Many good old standbys are even 
better with nuts. Start in with these 
suggestions : 

Add toasted nuts to creamed or 
saucy meat dishes or vegetables. 

Serve sour cream with nuts on meat 
or baked potatoes. 

For waffles, biscuits, or muffins, 
stir nuts into blended dry ingredients 
before adding liquid. 

Mix crisp bits of bacon with peanut 
butter for a sandwich filling, or use 
peanut butter and cheese slices for a 
grilled sandwich filling. 

Add nuts to meat, to poultry, or to 
seafood salads. 

Try slivered or sliced nuts in tossed 
vegetable salads. 

Make tiny cream cheese-nut balls 
to add to jellied salads. 

Mix coconut with a food color for 

Roll ice cream balls in tinted or 
toasted coconut or chopped nuts. 
Freeze balls separately until set. 

Use toasted coconut or toasted, 
chopped nuts as a quick topping for 
cream pie or ice cream pie. 

Sprinkle cupcakes with nuts before 
baking to eliminate icing them. 

Here are some recipes: 


About 3% cups 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted 
1 egg white, slightly beaten 

1 cup sugar 

Yi teaspoon salt 
V/i teaspoons cinnamon 
% teaspoon nutmeg 
% teaspoon allspice 

2 cups mixed nuts (almonds, English 
walnuts, and pecans) 

Stir cooled fat into egg whites. Add 

Mix the sugar and spices. Spread 
about one-fourth of the mixture in a 
large, shallow baking pan. 

Coat a few nuts at a time with the 
remaining sugar and arrange in pan. 
Sprinkle rest of sugar on nuts. 

Bake at 300° F. about 18 minutes 
until lightly browned. Stir gently to 
separate and coat nuts. Cool and store 
in closed containers. 


9-inch pie 

1 cup brown sugar, packed 
% cup granulated sugar 

1 tablespoon flour 

2 eggs 
Kcup milk 

yi cup butter or margarine, melted 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

%to 1 cup chopped pecans or roasted (un- 

salted) peanuts 
9-inch unbaked pastry shell 

Mix sugars and flour. Beat in eggs 
and milk. Stir in fat, vanilla, and nuts. 
Pour into pastry shell. 

Bake pie at 375° F. for 40 minutes 

or until a knife inserted in the center 
comes out clean. 


In place of pastry shell, separate the 
dough into 12 parts. Roll thinly and 
fit into 2%-inch muffin tins. Add filling. 
Baking time will be shorter than for 
the pie. 


7 loaf 

% cup light brown sugar, packed 

% cup shortening 

2 eggs 

2 cups unsifted flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

Vi teaspoon baking soda 

Y% teaspoon salt 

1 cup milk 

1 cup chopped black walnuts 

Beat the sugar, shortening, and eggs 
until creamy. 

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly; stir 
alternately with the milk into the egg 
mixture. Mix nuts with the last por- 
tion of the flour before adding to the 

Pour into a greased 9- by 5- by 3- 
inch baking pan. Bake about 1 hour, 
or until a toothpick inserted in center 
comes out clean. 

Cool 10 minutes before removing 
from pan. 


Use }{ cup pecans, English walnuts, 
or brazils for the nuts. Add % cup 
chopped, candied fruit and 1 tea- 
spoon grated lemon rind with the 
nuts to the dry ingredients. 


1}{ pounds 

2 cups sugar 

% cup water 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

}i teaspoon baking soda 

V/2 cups roasted, salted nuts 

Combine sugar, sirup, water, and 
fat in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook, 


stirring only until sugar dissolves. Then 
cook mixture to 300° F., or until a few 
drops form hard, britde threads in 
cold water. Remove from heat. 

Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour 
over a greased baking sheet. Pull 
thinner while cooling, if desired. Cool 
and break into pieces. 

Note : To use raw peanuts, add them 
and )i teaspoon salt to the sirup at 
238° F., or when a drop makes a soft 
ball in cold water. Continue to cook 
as above. 


6 servings 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine 

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery 
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion 
2 tablespoons flour 

1 cup milk 

2 cups chicken broth or bouillon 

Yt teaspoon hickory salt or Worcestershire 

1 cup salted pecans or cashews, finely 

Salt and pepper, as desired 
Paprika or minced parsley, as desired 

Melt fat in a large, heavy saucepan. 

Add celery and onion; cook, stirring 
frequendy until tender. 

Blend in flour. Gradually stir in 
liquids, hickory salt or Worcestershire 
sauce, salt and pepper, and nuts. 
Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute 
longer, stirring as needed. 

Garnish with paprika or parsley. 


Reduce flour to 1 tablespoon in the 
above recipe. Blend in % cup peanut 
butter before adding liquids. Omit 
other nuts. 


6 servings 

% cup pecans or English walnuts, chopped 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 

Yt cup brown sugar, packed 

2 tablespoons water 

2 tablespoons light corn sirup 

Stir the nuts in the fat over low 
heat until lighdy browned. Add the 
remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2 

Serve warm over ice cream. 

An array of nuts— including Indian nuts (pine nuts or pinon), coconut, cashews, pistachios, 
pecans, mixed nuts. Macadamias, and peanuts. 


Andrea C. Mackey 

Cereals, the Staff 
of Life, Take on 
a New Importance 
in Today's World 

Cereal grains are taking on new impor- 
tance in the diets of today's people and 
those of the future. 

All important civilizations were 
founded on the cultivation and use of 
one or another of the cereal grains. 
The early civilizations of Babylonia, 
Egypt, Greece, and Rome were based 
on the growing of wheat, barley, and 
the millets. The ancient cultures of 
India, China, and Japan were based 
on the rice crop. The Inca, Maya, and 
Aztec civilizations in the New World 
depended on their crops of corn. 

Cultivation of the cereal grains 
began so long ago that their earliest 
history cannot be pinpointed exactly. 
However, we know they have been 
man's most important food plants 
since the dawn of history. 

The cereal grains are the dried seeds 
of cultivated grasses which belong to 
the family Gramineae. They are rice, 
wheat, oats, barley, corn, rye, grain 
sorghum, and millet. 

Cereals have stayed with us through 
the centuries for many reasons. One or 
more can be grown almost anywhere, 
thus making possible a food supply in 
nearly every corner of the world. They 
give high yields per acre in comparison 

with other food crops. They can be 
stored compacdy for long periods and 
transported cheaply. They are palat- 
able and nutritious. 

All cereals consist of three parts : The 
bran, the germ, and the endosperm. 

The whole grains are concentrated 
sources of needed nutrients, being 
especially valuable sources of starch, 
protein, the B vitamins, iron, and 
phosphorous. The protein of cereals is 
not complete. But the addition of other 
foods such as milk or meat supple- 
ments the cereal protein, thus enabling 
it to become a valuable nutrient to 
the body. 

The cereal proteins are low in two 
essential amino acids, lysine and 
tryptophan. By "essential" we mean 
that these amino acids must be pro- 
vided in the food that we eat for the 
protein needs of our bodies. We can- 
not manufacture them for ourselves 
from other things we eat. 

Even now steps are being taken to 
improve the nutritive value of grain 
protein. Our agricultural geneticists 
have been developing strains of the 
cereal grains that will provide good 
sources of all the amino acids, includ- 
ing lysine and tryptophan. It looks 
as if, in the near future, the cereal 
grains produced by the everyday 
farmer will be nearly complete foods 
in that they will provide the bulk of 
nutrients needed by man for his 
daily food. He will still need to include 
sources of other nutrients such as 
vitamins A and C, which we now 
obtain from fruits and vegetables, and 
some minerals, such as calcium, which 
Americans usually get from milk. 

In the United States, our dietary 
needs are met by including foods from 
four categories in our meals : The bread 
and cereal groups, meat group, milk 
group, and vegetable and fruit group. 

The grains serve as food not only 
for man but for animals. Their un- 
paralleled importance as food and 
feed, as well as their industrial use, 
imparts great economic value to the 

Andrea C. Mackey is Professor of Foods arid 
Nutrition at Oregon State University, Corvallis. 


cereal grain crops. For example, corn 
yields starch which can in turn be 
converted to corn sirup. The germ of 
the corn grain is pressed to yield oil. 
Both the corn sirup and corn oil are 
common household materials used in 
food preparation. 

Climate determines where each of 
the cereal grains can be grown. 

Rice is the principal food of about 
half the world's people. About 95 per- 
cent of the world rice crop is produced 
and consumed in the southeastern 
part of Asia from India to Japan and 
the adjacent tropical and subtropical 
islands. The United States, however, 
is the biggest rice exporter in the 
world — although it has less than 1 
percent of the world's rice acreage. 

Corn is largely a New World crop, 
about half the world acreage being in 
the United States. In South America, 
the principal corn-growing countries 
are Argentina and Brazil. 

Sorghum grain is fairly important 
throughout the world but particularly 
so for human food in India and Africa. 
Millets are used as food primarily in 
eastern and southern Asia, parts of 
Africa, and parts of the Soviet Union. 

Wheat is the most widely cultivated 
of all cereal grains. It is grown in 
all countries lying in the temperate 

Rye can be grown in the colder 
climates. Winter rye, planted in the 
fall, can survive winter temperatures 
as low as 40° below zero. It is grown 
beyond the Arctic Circle in Finland 
and in Russia as far north as the 
border of Siberia. 

More than 80 percent of the world 
acreage of oats lies in the moist, cool, 
temperate areas of North America, 
northern Europe, and Soviet Russia. 
In the United States, more than three- 
fourths of the crop is grown in the 
North Central States. 

Barley is an important crop in many 
countries with a temperate climate. 
In the United States, the leading 
barley growing areas are in California, 
North Dakota, South Dakota, Minne- 
sota, and Montana. 

In early times, cereals were cooked 


by parching the whole grain. The 
grains were also ground between stones 
to form a coarse meal. This was made 
into heavy, unleavened flat bread or 
was boiled with water to make a 
porridge. Flat bread has been found 
along with parched or uncooked stores 
of wheat, barley, and millet in the 
ruins of the Swiss lake dwellers who 
lived six to seven thousand years ago. 
It has also been found in Egyptian 

Today's consumers want conveni- 
ence, high nutritive value, palatability, 
and attractive appearance in their 
foods. They get all this in cereals. 
Now the cereal grains come to the 
market in many different forms. Prod- 
ucts made of corn, oats, rice, and wheat 
are most common. For convenience, 
we may think of cereals in two cate- 
gories — those to be prepared by cook- 
ing and served hot, and those that are 
ready to eat as they come from the 

The first ready-to-eat cereal was 
developed back in 1893. What an 
interesting new idea this was! And 
what merchandising problems must 
have arisen, for it was an entirely new 
type of product. It did not take long 
for the idea to catch on, however, 
and ready-to-eat cereal appeared on 
breakfast tables everywhere. 

Next, in 1894, the first flaked cereal 
product was developed by Dr. John 
Harvey Kellogg. 

Soon after, Charles W. Post pro- 
duced a ground, ready-to-eat cereal. 
And in 1902, Alexander Anderson 
developed the first puffed cereal. 

How are puffed grain products 
made? A manufacturer says that 
they really are shot from "guns." The 
"guns" are loaded with grain, and 
heat and pressure are built up. The 
pressure is suddenly released, and 
puffed kernels shower from the guns 
in a noisy explosion. 

Today the homemaker can make her 
selection of ready-to-eat cereals from 
among 100 or more items, brands, and 
package sizes on the supermarket 

Today's cereals not only have a 

' ■ i'a " 

Noodles Romanoff with chops. 

variety of taste appeal, but they also 
have added convenience. One of the 
chief appeals of the ready-to-cat cereals 
is their "no cooking" convenience. 
However, the traditional uncooked 
cereals now offer some of the same 
benefits. Some are "instant." Add hot 
water and they are ready to eat. 
Others take but 1 to 5 minutes of 
cooking time. Contrast this with the 
same kinds of cereals that 25 years 
ago took from 30 minutes to 3 hours to 

The quick cooking feature is achieved 
by cereal manufacturers in several 
ways. The grain may be precooked, 
then dried. A small amount of di- 
sodium phosphate may be added, or 
the cereal may be modified during 
manufacture with a small amount of 
enzyme preparation. All these proc- 
esses make it possible for water to 
reenter the grain very rapidly, thus 
speeding up the cooking time. 

The packaged cereal grains that are 

to be cooked should not be washed. 
To do so removes valuable nutrients, 
especially the B vitamins. Except for 
macaroni products, it is best to cook 
cereals and rice in just enough water 
so that the water will be completely 
absorbed. Pasta products (macaroni) 
are usually cooked in an excess of 
water. However, some recipes call for 
cooking them in meat broth in suffi- 
cient quantity so all of the liquid is 

The processing of cereals is a bigger 
enterprise in the United States than in 
any other country. They are manufac- 
tured here and exported throughout 
the world. The fabulous breakfast ce- 
real industry originated in our country 
and has been propagated by our large 
cereal companies. 

The story of grain as it moves from 
the farmer's field to the breakfast tables 
of the United States and many parts of 
the world is told by the Battle Creek 
Board of Education in a brochure, 


Oatmeal bread. 

"Inside Battle Creek." Farmers are 
the source of all grains, but grain 
directly from the field is not ready for 
processing. The farmers usually sell 
their grain to nearby elevators which 
clean and store the grain. They in turn 
sell the grain to elevators located near 
food processing centers, or direcdy to 
the food processors. 

They may sell to brokers who act as 
intermediaries in supplying the needs 
of processors. 

Following the purchasing of the 
grain, it is brought to the company's 
storage bins. It then enters the manu- 
facturing chain which will result in the 
needed amount of the desired finished 
product. Marketing the finished cereals 
is regarded one of the many vital steps 
in routing the product to the customer. 

To do a good job of marketing re- 
quires informing the public about the 


product, and creating and maintaining 
a demand for it. This is done by adver- 
tising. The cereals are shipped from 
the manufacturing plant to the retail 
stores, usually via food brokers or 
wholesalers, but sometimes directly to 
the warehouses of the large retail stores. 
When the packages arrive at the local 
market and are placed on the shelves, 
the homemaker should already be in- 
formed about them and she should be 
interested in trying them. 

There are many uses for cereal grains. 

Barley is sold as pearled barley which 
is popular for use in soups. It is the 
whole grain which has had the hulls 
and bran removed. Barley flour is used 
in baby foods and in breakfast cereals. 

Corn is made into cornmeal or grits 
which must be cooked. Ready- to-eat 
corn flakes are made by blending grits 
with malt, sugar, and other ingredi- 

ents, followed by cooking, rolling, and 

Wheat and rye for human food are 
milled into flour. Rye flour is used for 
making bread. A high proportion of 
the wheat crop is milled into flour 
which in turn is used to create many 
kinds of baked goods, as crackers, 
bread, and cakes. 

One variety of wheat (Durum) is 
made into macaroni type products. 
Wheat is also converted into breakfast 
cereals to be cooked and served hot, 
like farina, cream of wheat, and rolled 
wheat, and ready-to-eat kinds such as 
puffed, shredded, and flaked wheat. 

Among the foods made from oats, 
rolled oats have been available for the 
longest time. In the ready-to-eat oats 
cereals, there are flaked, puffed, and 
shredded forms. Rolled oats, whether 
old fashioned, quick, or instant, are 
made from the whole grain, including 
the bran and germ. 

Rice is boiled or steamed to prepare 
it for the table. It may be white 
polished rice, brown rice which retains 
part of the bran coat, or converted rice, 
which has been precooked and dried 
before polishing. 

Consumer preference decides to a 
large extent which rice people buy. 
Brown rice has more nutrients (the B 
vitamins — thiamine, riboflavin, and 
niacin) but for many people doesn't 
have the sales appeal of polished white 
rice. Nor does brown rice cook up as 
fluffy and as quickly as some of the 
other rices. Converted rice or par- 
boiled ranks next to brown rice in 
nutritive value. During the conversion 
process most of the vitamin B is forced 
into the interior of the grain and is 
not lost when the bran is discarded. 

These differences are often adjusted 
with enrichment. Nowadays most of 
the breakfast cereals, whether ready to 
eat or to be cooked, are enriched by 
the addition of minerals and vitamins. 
Some are enriched with added protein. 

Enrichment of grain foods with vita- 
mins and minerals is of great impor- 
tance to the nutritional well-being of 
many people. It is necessary that most 
of the calories consumed in the day's 

meals should carry with them a reason- 
able amount of nutrients, like the 
vitamins and minerals, to establish a 
balanced diet. 

While whole grain cereals, contain- 
ing as they do the bran and germ of 
the grain, have ample supplies of 
valuable vitamins and minerals, the 
bran coat tends to be somewhat firm 
and coarse even when cooked. Some 
people find whole grains harder to 
digest for this reason. 

When processed into other forms 
attractive to a wide variety of personal 
tastes, the bran and germ are often 
removed, carrying with them much of 
the vitamin and mineral content. En- 
richment returns these essential nutri- 
ents to the product, making the cereal 
equally or more nutritious than before 

To keep the flavor of cereals good 
from the time the package is opened 
until all the contents have been used, 
they should be stored in a dry, cool 
convenient place in the kitchen. By 
opening the cereal container care- 
fully, it can be reclosed, thus helping 
to protect the food. It is also advisable 
to store cereals in a different place 
from soap or other products having 
strong odors. 

Cereals should be kept in their 
original packages. The package label 
has important information. It identifies 
the product, tells how to cook it, and 
often gives a recipe which you may 
enjoy trying. 

Cereals are inexpensive foods. It 
might be expected that those more 
sophisticated items like puffed or 
shredded enriched cereals would cost 
more than the grains from which they 
were developed. The cost of many 
ready-to-eat cereals having such spe- 
cial features as sugar coating and being 
crisply toasted is approximately four 
times as much as those that require 
cooking. When you remember you are 
buying food value — cereals are ap- 
proximately 12 percent water while 
most other foods contain a much 
higher percentage of water — all cere- 
als are among our least expensive 
foods. Each ounce of ready-to-eat or 


uncooked cereal has about 104 calo- 
ries. One ounce is considered as an 
average serving. 

Although spoken of as breakfast 
cereals, these foods readily perform 
special functions as ingredients in 
recipes intended for use at other meals. 
Their usefulness as ingredients is indi- 
cated by such recipes as the following : 

"Date nut flake bread" in which 
whole wheat flakes, bran flakes, or 
corn flakes are used; "orange fluff 
pie" in which corn flakes are used to 
make the crust; or "easy-do tuna on 
buttery cereal crunch" in which 
creamed tuna is served over shredded 
wheat or bite-size cereals. 

These recipes and a number of 
others were found in "Cereal Service 
Brochure," a publication of the Cereal 
Institute, Inc., 135 South LaSalle St., 
Chicago, 111. 60603. This brochure will 
be sent to you without charge if you 
write for it. 


8 servings 

Curried chicken: 

1 cup chopped onions 

}£ cup chopped green pepper 
J4 cup butter or margarine 
% cup flour 
5 cups chicken broth 

3 cans chicken broth (12}i ounces each) 
Salt to taste 

2 tablespoons curry powder 

4 cups chicken, cooked and diced 

Saute onions and green pepper in 
the fat in a frying pan until tender. 

Stir in flour. 

Gradually blend in chicken broth. 
Add salt and curry powder. 

Cook until thickened, stirring as 

Add chicken and heat thoroughly. 

Serve over deluxe rice. 


}i cup slivered, blanched almonds 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
2% cups water (or amount specified on 

Ys cup dried currants 
1 teaspoon salt 
2% cups packaged precooked rice 


Saute almonds in the fat in a frying 
pan until golden brown. 

Add water, currants, and salt. Bring 
to a boil. Stir in rice. Then cover, re- 
move from heat, and let it stand for 
5 minutes. 

Fluff with fork before serving. 


4 dozen pieces 

5 cups toasted oat cereal rings 

1 cup sugar-coated corn puffs 
1^4 cups sugar 

V>i cups corn sirup, light 
6-ounce package butterscotch bits 
6-ounce package chocolate bits 
}i cup butter or margarine 

3 tablespoons milk 
}i teaspoon salt 

2 cups peanut butter 
2 teaspoons vanilla 

Grease a 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan. 

Combine cereals ; set aside. 

Combine sugar, sirup, butterscotch 
and chocolate bits, fat, milk, and salt 
in large saucepan. 

Heat, stirring until sugar melts. 

Cook until mixture comes to a full 
boil. Then cook it 1 minute, stirring 

Remove from heat. 

Add peanut butter, vanilla, and 
cereals; mix well, and pour at once 
into baking pan. 

Cool ; cut into squares. 


4 large servings 

4 ounces lasagna noodles 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine 

]i cup finely chopped onion 

1 finely chopped garlic clove 

Yt pound ground beef 

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 

1 can (20 ounces) tomatoes 

1 teaspoon salt 

Ys teaspoon pepper 

Yi teaspoon basil 

34 teaspoon oregano 

}i pound ricotta or cottage cheese 

Yi pound natural or process Swiss cheese 


Yi cup parmesan cheese, grated 

Cook lasagna noodles until tender, 
using package directions. Drain. 
Separate lasagna and hang over 

edge of colander or pan to allow for 
easy handling later. 

While lasagna is cooking, melt fat 
in large frying pan. 

Add onion and garlic and cook over 
moderate heat until tender. Add 
ground beef, and cook slowly, stirring 
frequendy until red color disappears 
from meat. 

Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, 
pepper, basil, and oregano. 

Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occa- 

In an 8-inch square baking dish, 
make three layers of meat sauce, 
lasagna, and ricotta, Swiss, and par- 
mesan cheeses. Use about % of each 
for each layer, topping with parmesan 

Bake at 350° F. until mixture is 
bubbly and cheese is lighdy browned, 
about 35 to 40 minutes. 


6 servings 

2 cups cooked and cooled elbow macaroni 

^cup mayonnaise 

Yi cup french dressing 

Ys teaspoon hot pepper sauce 

Ys cup sweet pickles, diced 

2 tablespoons vinegar 

6 hard-cooked, cubed eggs 

1 can (8 ounces) kidney beans, drained 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Mix all ingredients. 

Chill and serve on lettuce or other 
salad greens. Garnish with watercress 
if desired. 


2 loaves 

1 cup rye flour 
1 cup cornmeal 

1 cup whole-wheat flour 

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt 
% cup molasses 

2 cups sour milk or buttermilk 
1 cup seedless raisins 

Mix dry ingredients. 

Stir in molasses, milk, and raisins. 
Beat well. 

Pour into two greased 1 -pound 
coffee cans. 

Cover cans with wax paper. Set on 

rack in deep pan over hot water. 
Cover pan tightly. 

Steam for 3 hours. 

Serve with butter or margarine. 


2 loaves 

V/t cups warm water, 110°-115° F. 

3 packages active, dry yeast 

4 teaspoons salt 

2 teaspoons caraway seeds 
2 tablespoons shortening 
Yi cup molasses 
2% cups sifted rye flour 
3)£ cups sifted flour 

Measure water into mixing bowl 
and add yeast, stirring to dissolve. 
Stir in salt and caraway seeds. Mix 
in shortening, molasses, and rye flour 
until smooth. Mix in flour until dough 
can be handled. 

Turn onto a lightly floured board; 
knead. Cover with a damp cloth. Let 
rise in warm place (about 85° F.) until 
double in volume. This will take about 
1 % hours. 

Punch down and let dough rise 
again until almost double. 

Shape into two round, slightly 
flattened loaves. 

Place on opposite corners of a 
greased baking sheet which has been 
lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. 

Cover with damp cloth, and let rise 
until double in volume, about 1 hour. 

Bake at 375° F. until brown, 30 to 
35 minutes. 

Brush loaves with fat after removing 
from oven. Cool on rack. 


4 servings 

Pour 2 cups cooked cornmeal mush 
into a loaf pan. Mush must be thick 
to mold. 

Cover to prevent crust from form- 
ing. Chill thoroughly. 

Cut in }£-inch slices and fry in bacon 
drippings or other fat until crisp and 
nicely browned on both sides. 

Serve hot with butter or margarine 
and with sirup or jelly and bacon or 
sausages if desired. (For a crisper crust, 
dip slices in cornmeal, then fry.) 



12 pancakes 

1J4 cups whole wheat flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

% teaspoon salt 

3 tablespoons brown sugar 

1 beaten egg 

IK cups milk 

3 tablespoons melted shortening 

Thoroughly mix dry ingredients. 

Combine the egg, milk, and short- 
ening. Add to the dry ingredients and 
mix until smooth. 

Drop the mixture from a spoon onto 
a hot, lighdy greased griddle. 

Cook until bubbles form on the top. 

Turn and brown the other side. 


6 servings 

1 cup cornmeal 
1% teaspoons salt 

2 cups scalded milk 

2% teaspoons baking powder 
2 eggs, separated 

Mix cornmeal and salt, stir into 
hot milk. 

Cook over hot water until thick and 
smooth, stirring occasionally; cool 

Stir in the baking powder and well- 
beaten egg yolks. 

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. 

Turn into greased casserole or 9-inch 
square pan. 

Bake at 375° F. about 35 minutes, 
or until firm and crust is brown. 

Serve from baking dish. 


5 dozen cookies 

% cup shortening 

1 cup packed brown sugar 

Yi cup granulated sugar 

1 egg 

Yt cup water 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup sifted flour 

1 teaspoon salt 

Vi teaspoon baking soda 

1 cup raisins 

3 cups rolled oats, uncooked 

Place shortening, sugars, egg, water, 
and the vanilla in mixing bowl; beat 

Sift together flour, salt, and soda; 
add to shortening mixture, mix well. 

Blend in oats and raisins. 

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased 
cookie sheets. 

Bake at 350° F. for 12 to 15 minutes 
or until lighdy browned. 


Theresa A. Demus 

Baking Treats 
Ad Infinitum: 
Breads and 
Tasty Pastry 

Bread is one of man's oldest foods. It 
is referred to in the Old Testament as 
leavened and unleavened loaves and 
cakes. Over the world, bread is known 
by many names and is made from 
many grains — wheat, corn, rye, rice, 
oats, barley, buckwheat. 

Bread continues to be an important 
part of our diet because the grains 
from which cereal foods are made are 
grown almost all over the world. These 
grains are readily available, produce 
high yields, and have low production 
cost. They also have excellent "keep- 
ing" qualities. Breads and the related 
cereal foods constitute the largest 
single item in the average diet. They 
are the greatest source of carbohy- 
drates, furnishing many necessary cal- 
ories. Enrichment and fortification of 
flour has greatly improved diets in 
which bread is the chief item. 

When many of us think of breads, 
cakes, donuts, cookies, or pastries, 
we remember the irresistible aroma 
that drew us to the kitchen to swipe 
Mom's cookies. 

Today, however, our markets pro- 
vide bakery items ad infinitum. There 
are the ready-to-serve products, the 
partially-baked products, the ready- 

to-serve frozen products, the prepared 
frozen products, the canned prepared 
products, and the prepared mixes. 
These items are widely available, and 
there is considerable variety to suit 
individual needs and wants. 

Ready-to-serve products have been 
baked and are ready for the table. 
Breads, sweet rolls, donuts, pastries, 
and cookies are among the numerous 
items of ready-to-serve products. 

Partially-baked products are "half 
baked." Baking must be completed at 
home before serving. Available forms 
are loaves of bread, rolls, and buns. 

Ready-to-serve frozen products are 
fully prepared products ready to serve 
after thawing. If desired, these prod- 
ucts can be heated before serving. 
Cakes, pastries, some pies, rolls, and 
buns are sold in this manner. 

Prepared frozen products have not 
been baked before freezing. They re- 
quire baking before serving. Breads, 
pies, rolls, and hors d'oeuvres are avail- 
able in today's market. These products 
must be kept frozen until used. 

Canned prepared products must 
be completely baked before serving. 
Cookies, biscuits, and rolls are among 
the variety of products that can be 
purchased. Canned prepared products 
need to be refrigerated until used. 

Prepared mixes are convenience 
preparations containing basic ingredi- 
ents like flour, shortening, sugar, leav- 
ening. The consumer must add such 
ingredients as water or milk and/or 
eggs. Pie crusts, cakes, and roll mixes 
are available in this form. No refrig- 
eration is needed for these mixes. They 
can be stored on the kitchen shelf. 

Flours are made by grinding cereal 
grains to powders of varying fineness. 
A meal is coarsely ground flour. 

Wheat is the preferred grain for 
flour. Present in wheat flour are the 
proteins — gliadin and glutenin. Glia- 
din is of a sticky nature which imparts 
adhesiveness to the gluten, while glu- 
tenin imparts tenacity and strength. 

Theresa A. Demus is Director of the Consumer 
Services Staff, Office oj the Assistant Commis- 
sioner for Education and Information, Food 
and Drug Administration. 


Peach Paradise, above, and sourdough breads, below. To make Peach Paradise, start with large 
chiffon or angel food cake. Slice it into two layers and spread each layer with whipped cream 
Freestone peach slices go between layers and are arranged on top. Combine layers and spread 
sides with whipped cream and toasted coconut. 

The combination of these two very 
different proteins with water is known 
as gluten. Gluten is the elastic part 
of dough which allows the batter or 
dough to expand as gas is released from 
the leavening agent. When heated, it 
coagulates and forms the structure, 
imparting form and lightness to the 

There are several types of wheat — 
durum wheats, hard wheats, and soft 
wheats. These wheats vary in the 
amount of protein they contain. Spe- 
cial blending of the wheat flours makes 
the flours more adaptable for special 
uses, for example: 

• Pasta flours are milled from durum 
wheat which is high in protein, and 
their best use is to make noodles, mac- 
aroni, and spaghetti. 

• Bread flours are milled primarily for 
the baker. They are a blend of hard 
spring and hard winter wheats. They 
may be bleached or unbleached. These 
flours are somewhat granular to the 

• Cake flours are bleached flours milled 
from soft wheats, and are the most 
finely ground of all the flours. Protein 
content of these flours is low. 

• Pastry flours are generally milled 
from soft wheat; however, they can be 
made from either hard or soft wheat. 
These flours are used largely by bakers, 
and are unbleached. 

• All-purpose flours can be blends of 
hard wheats or soft wheats or both, 
depending on what area of the country 
the wheat comes from. These flours are 
blended to obtain satisfactory results 
for general family cooking. Protein 
content is sufficient to make good yeast 
breads as well as quick breads. 

• Self-rising flour is an intimate mix- 
ture of flour, sodium bicarbonate (bak- 
ing soda), and one or more of the acid- 
reacting substances — monocalcium 
phosphate, sodium acid pyrophos- 
phate, and sodium aluminum phos- 
phate (baking powder). 

Rye is second to wheat as a bread- 
making grain. This grain is used 
extensively with wheat in breads. 

Rye flour is always darker than 
wheat flour. Bleaching has little effect 
on the color, but improves the baking 
properties. Rye gluten contains the 
same protein as wheat gluten, but in 
different proportions. Its proteins are 
very different in character and lack 
stability. Therefore, it is difficult to 
make a loaf of considerable volume. 

Rye bread has a close texture and is 
difficult to bake. Pumpernickel is an 
example of an all-rye flour bread. 
Many varieties of bread are available 
currently with a rye and wheat grain 

Oats are rich in protein and are 
very nourishing although they are not 
suitable for breadmaking because they 
contain no gluten-forming protein. 

Oats and oatmeal are important 
breakfast foods. They are also used 
with other flours to make tasty cookies. 

Corn contains the protein gliadin 
but does not contain glutenin. This 
means that cornmeal cannot form 
gluten and must be used with a wheat 
flour for making breads. Cornmeal 
is used very extensively in the United 
States, particularly in the South, for 
making cornbread, spoonbread, muf- 
fins, and mush. 

Barley is not normally used for 
breadmaking purposes. It is low in 
protein and fat. It is known for its 
high mineral content. This food is 
seldom used in our country except in 

Rice may be purchased as white 
(polished) or brown (unpolished) in 
varieties grouped as long grain, me- 
dium, or short grain. 

Rice flour is milled from white rice. 
It is particularly useful in diets for 
persons who have allergies to other 
cereal grains. Rice flour can be used 
as a thickening agent or as flour in 
certain baked products such as cookies 
and pancakes. 

Buckwheat is used only as pancake 
flour. It is not a true grain, but is used 
as a cereal. 

In the refining, compounding, or 
processing of some foods, there is an 
unavoidable loss of vitamins and 
minerals. Enrichment is to replace or 


to restore the food by adding pure 
vitamins and minerals to the natural 
level of the original product. 

Milling of low extraction fine white 
flour, cornmeal, and polished white 
rice results in unavoidable losses of 
some nutrients. The Food and Nutri- 
tion Board of the National Research 
Council, recognizing the deficiency of 
these products in vitamins and iron, 
recommended that all white flours be 
enriched. In the last several decades, 
the addition of thiamine, riboflavin, 
niacin, and of iron to wheat flour, 
macaroni and noodle products, farina, 
rice, cornmeal, and corn grits has 
been gradually introduced as a legally 
required procedure in a large number 
of States. Besides these four required 
enrichment ingredients, enriched flour 
and bread may contain two optional 
ingredients, calcium and vitamin D. 

A food may be considered fortified 
when one or more ingredients have 
been added to provide certain nutri- 
ents that may or may not be present 
naturally in foods. For example, since 
milk in its natural state does not 
contain vitamin D, addition of the 
vitamin makes milk a fortified food. 
Today, both enrichment and fortifica- 
tion have become accepted routine 
steps in the manufacture of certain 
staple foods, and they contribute con- 
siderably to the nutritional welfare of 
our population. 

What may start as mere enrichment 
may become modified to a combina- 
tion of enrichment and fortification. 
Flour is a good example where enrich- 
ment was not limited to restoring 
previous natural values. 

In setting legal requirements for 
enrichment of bread, human needs and 
the general dietary situation with 
respect to the nutrients involved were 
taken into consideration. 

The Food and Drug Administration, 
an agency within the Department of 
Health, Education, and Welfare, is 
responsible for administering the Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which also 
provides for the issuance of standards 
for food products, including bread. 
Enrichment of white bread began on a 


voluntary basis in 1941 and was made 
mandatory for all bakery white breads 
and rolls from 1943 to 1946. When 
this war measure was rescinded in 
October of 1946, more than half the 
States continued to require enrich- 
ment, and some processors and bakers 
continued to enrich their products on 
a voluntary basis. 

Standards for bread and flour 
shipped in interstate commerce and 
labeled as enriched became effective 
August 13, 1952. Bread or flour identi- 
fied as enriched must contain amounts 
of the four required enrichment in- 
gredients (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, 
and iron) in each pound of bread or 
flour as are written in the FDA 
regulations. Calcium and vitamin D 
are optional enrichment ingredients 
that may also be added to bread or 
to flour. 

Food and drug inspectors maintain 
surveillance over the storage and 
transportation of grain in interstate 
commerce as well as in the flour mill 
to assure that adequate sanitation 
practices — and other safeguards — are 
followed. Flour labeled as "enriched" 
must contain the specified amounts of 
vitamins and minerals. FDA checks 
both by inspection and analysis to see 
that adequate amounts are present. 

At the bakery, the FDA inspector 
checks the plant's storage areas, pro- 
duction line, equipment and facilities, 
and sanitation practices for evidence 
of conditions that may result in con- 
tamination. Besides visual examination, 
he takes samples of materials, ingredi- 
ents, and in-line finished products to 
be analyzed. In the laboratory, the 
samples are checked for filth or 

Most flours and bakeries come under 
the jurisdiction of State and local 
authorities. But the Federal Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 
provided that foods shipped across 
State lines must be free from filth and 
must not be prepared or held under 
unsanitary conditions that cause them 
to become contaminated. Products in 
violation of this law should be reported 
to the nearest FDA office or, if pro- 

duced in a local bakery, to the local 
health department. 

In general, manufacturers are not 
required to state the ingredients on 
the label for standardized foods, ex- 
cept that the presence of any artificial 
flavoring, artificial coloring, or chem- 
ical preservative must be declared. 
The common or usual name on the 
bread or flour is in effect a statement 
by the manufacturer that the com- 
position of his product will be what the 
consumer expects. It is therefore not 
ordinarily necessary for the label to 
state all the ingredients. When op- 
tional ingredients, such as bleaching 
agents, are used in flour, the label 
must state the word "bleached." 

Label information must be con- 
spicuously displayed and easy to 
understand. The label must contain 
the name and address of the man- 
ufacturer or distributor and an ac- 
curate statement of the amount of 
food in the package. The enrichment 
statement must also be included. 

A nonstandardized bread product 
must list ingredients in order of pre- 
dominance by weight to avoid con- 
sumer deception. All other information 
required for the standardized product 
is required for the nonstandardized 

On the label of a loaf of bread you 
have probably seen the words "cal- 
cium and sodium propionate added 
to retard spoilage." The propionates 
have the ability of keeping bread from 
becoming moldy in the store or in 
your breadbox at home. 

Sodium diacetate and lactic acid 
are also used in bread as mold or rope 
inhibitors. Rope is a bacterial infection 
that sometimes occurs in breads in hot 
and humid weather. It is identified 
by a strange odor resembling overripe 
pineapple or strawberries, by dis- 
colored crumb, and by a sticky and 
gummy consistency of the interior of 
the loaf. The rope bacteria is in the 
soil and in dust and can readily be 
transmitted to the dough. It is easy 
to understand why equipment must 
be scrupulously clean and a rope 
inhibitor must be used. The FDA has 

the responsibility of approving food 
additives as safe before they can be 
used in a food. 

One should not buy cereal grain 
products by the size of package be- 
cause this can be misleading. These 
products should be bought by weight. 
The cost may be determined by 
figuring the cost per ounce and the 
number of servings per package. Total 
cost of the contents of the package 
divided by the weight in ounces will 
give the cost per ounce. 

Baked foods prepared at home are 
usually less expensive than those pur- 
chased ready to eat. Keep in mind 
that in the price of prepared products, 
you are paying for each step that is 
completed for you. However, when 
time is a precious element, sometimes 
it is more economical to buy prepared 
products rather than have to do the 
work at home. 

Day-old bread is less expensive and 
just as nourishing as fresh bread, so 
take advantage of the day-old sales. 
Many consumers who have freezers 
may want to buy in quantity and 
freeze the products. This can mean a 
saving. Many times prepared products 
are on sale. If you have storage space 
in your refrigerator, these also are 
good buys. 

Flours and meals are attractive to 
insect pests. This contamination can 
sometimes result from unsatisfactory 
storage conditions. To sidestep this 
problem, flour and meal should be 
stored in tightly covered containers in 
a cool, dry area. Flour held at high 
temperatures may become unusable. 
The flour container should always be 
cleaned thoroughly before a new 
supply is added. 

Whole wheat products become ran- 
cid more quickly and are more difficult 
to store. Frozen baked products should 
be kept in the freezer at 0° F. or 
lower. Ready baked products can be 
frozen at the same temperature if 
wrapped and sealed properly. 

Ready baked products also can be 
kept in the refrigerator if wrapped 
well. Refrigeration retards mold. 
Bread will become a little firmer in 


texture but its food value does not 
change. Breads that have been in the 
refrigerator can be freshened up by 
wrapping in aluminum foil and plac- 
ing in a moderate oven for 10 to 
12 minutes. Serve quickly. 

Ready baked products can be kept 
in a breadbox, but keep in mind that 
bread picks up odors and it molds 
quickly, particularly in hot weather. 
The breadbox should be kept clean 
and dry. 

Mixes can be stored on the kitchen 
shelf — but not in extremely warm 
temperatures. Ingredients in mixes 
deteriorate with storage. Depending 
on the ingredients, shelf life may be 
as long as a year. 

Breads that have not been eaten 
when fresh need not be thrown away. 
They can be put to many uses. 
Biscuits, yeast rolls, bread, and muffins 
may be dried and ground to make 
dressings or meat fillings, for breading 
or topping in meats, poultry, fish, or 
vegetable dishes. In a container with 
a tight-fitting lid, the ground bread 
can be stored in the refrigerator for 
later use. Breads that contain fruit, 
nuts, or sugar can be used to great 
advantage in bread puddings. 

Freezing is an excellent way of keep- 
ing foods. It retains freshness of the 
product. But don't expect anything 
better than what you have put in. 
Freezing will not enhance the flavor 
or texture. Freeze baked products 
the day they are baked. 

It is important in freezing to have 
vapor- and moisture-proof, odorless, 
and tasteless materials in which to 
wrap the products. These materials 
should be durable but easy to handle. 
Plastic bags, heavy-duty aluminum 
foil, or wax- or plastic-coated paper 
are some of the popular materials 
which are used in freezing. Bread 
products should be thoroughly cooled 
before freezing. 

Storage of bread should not exceed 
3 months. Thaw breads at room 
temperature in the freezer container. 
It may take 1 to 3 hours. Rolls or 
muffins can be thawed at room tem- 
perature or placed unwrapped on a 


baking sheet and heated in the oven at 
350° F. for 15 to 30 minutes. 

Cakes with 7-minute frosting or 
boiled frosting should not be frozen. 
They tend to break down and become 
sticky. Unfrosted cakes stored more 
than 1 to 2 months are liable to lose 
some quality. Fruitcakes keep well 
for at least 1 year in a freezer. 

Cakes should also be thoroughly 
cooled before freezing. Layer cakes 
may be stacked if a sheet of wax paper 
or its equivalent is placed between 
them before wrapping. I find that by 
taking one layer from the stack and 
cutting it in half and frosting it I have 
one half of a two-layer cake. 

Frosted cakes should be frozen 
without being wrapped until frosting 
is frozen. Placing these cakes in a 
cardboard box is almost a must. This 
keeps the frosting from chipping or 
being smashed. 

Thaw unfrosted cakes in freezer 
wrapping. Frosted cakes should be 
thawed without wrapping to prevent 

Cookies will keep about 6 months, 
baked or unbaked. Thoroughly cool 
baked cookies before freezing them. 
They can be stored in plastic bags or 
in sheet wrapping. Cookies thaw very 

Most kinds of pies can be frozen, 
with the exception of custard. Cream 
pies can be frozen, but if your success 
isn't any better than mine, I would not 
recommend it. 

Pie crust may be frozen in bulk, 
rolled in circles, or fitted and fluted 
in a pie pan. Circles should be stacked 
with two pieces of wax paper between 
layers so one may be removed without 
thawing the whole batch. The stack 
should be placed on a piece of card- 
board, wrapped, sealed, and dated. 
Neither baked nor unbaked pie shells 
need thawing. Place pie crust in oven 
and bake as recipe directs. The top of 
double crust unbaked pie should not 
be cut before freezing. 

When the term bread is used, it 
generally refers to quick breads or 
to yeast-leavened bread unless other- 
wise stated. 

Orange crumble pumpkin pie. 

Quick breads are what the name 
implies. They are relatively easy to 
make as well as being quick. Examples 
of quick breads are muffins, biscuits, 
waffles, pancakes, and coffeecakes. 
They are leavened with baking pow- 
der, soda, eggs, and steam. 

There are three types of quick 
bread mixtures: 

• Drop batter, such as is in a drop 
biscuit or muffins. 

• Pour batter, as a pancake or waffle 

• Dough, such as rolled biscuits or 

Quick breads should not be over- 
mixed. Overmixing develops gluten 
and causes tunnels and coarseness in 

the finished product. A good recipe 
will give the proper method for mix- 
ing. Quick breads always contain 
flour, liquid, fat, and leavening. 
They may also contain sugar, eggs, 
and flavoring. All-purpose (or family 
flour) is normally used for best 
results. If self-rising flour is used, read 
and follow directions on the package. 

The difference between quick breads 
and yeast breads is the leavening 
agent. Quick breads are normally 
served hot, while yeast breads may 
be served hot or cold. Coffeecake and 
donuts are leavened breads but con- 
tain more sugar and fat and are 
considered good breakfast breads. 

Each ingredient is an essential part 
of the finished product. 

Flour is very basic in breadmaking 


because it provides the gluten neces- 
sary in many baked products. Both 
hard and soft wheat flours make good 
yeast bread if used properly. The flour 
that's most used in breadmaking by 
the homemakcr is all purpose. 

Liquids are important to bind and 
mix the ingredients together. Water 
and milk are used in breadmaking. 
When water is used, the flavor of the 
wheat predominates. Italian and 
French breads and hard rolls are made 
with water. 

Steam — In all batters and doughs, a 
certain amount of liquid is released to 
help leaven the mixture. In products 
where steam is the only form of leaven- 
ing, the oven temperature must be 
hot to raise the temperature of the 
product to the boiling point quickly. 
Popovers and cream puffs are exam- 
ples. Characteristic of these products 
are large central cavities. 

Baking soda, baking powder, and 
yeast are used to produce carbon di- 
oxide in breadmaking. 

Pancakes, a pour batter product, make delicious and quick breakfast food. 

Milk enhances the food value of the 
bread. Liquid or powdered skim milk 
can be used successfully in breadmak- 
ing. One-third cup of the skim milk 
powder to a pound of flour is a good 
proportion. Diluted evaporated milk 
is suitable and docs not need to be 
boiled. If fluid milk is used, it should 
be boiled first. Condensed milk is 
sometimes an ingredient for making 
sweet breads. 

A leavening agent is a substance 
used in flour mixtures which makes the 
cooked product porous or light. There 
are three leavening agents: Air, steam, 
and carbon dioxide. 

Air can be incorporated into a prod- 
uct several ways: (a) By using beaten 
egg whites, (b) by creaming fat and 
sugar, and (c) by repeated sifting of 
the flour or by beating the mixture. 


Baking soda used with an acid is 
simple and can be controlled easily. 
It does not develop flavor in the mix- 
ture as fermentation methods do. 
Baking soda, like baking powder, can 
leave a residue and in some cases may 
be undesirable. Sour milk and butter- 
milk are the acid-containing liquids 
used in this method. When fruit juice 
is an ingredient of a batter or dough, 
soda may be used to produce carbon 
dioxide. Soda and acid of fruit cut 
into cakes and cookies will combine 
to produce carbon dioxide. 

All baking powders are combina- 
tions of an acid powder and baking 
soda in such proportion to form a 
salt. There are three kinds of baking 
powders: (1) Tartrate, (2) phosphate 
powders, and (3) sodium aluminum 
sulphate, often abbreviated as S.A.S. 

The tartrate and the phosphate are 
single acting powders. The powders 
begin action as soon as the powder is 
mixed with the liquid. S.A.S. is a 
double acting powder; some action is 
begun when mixed with liquid and 
some takes place at oven temperature. 
Baking powder should be kept in 
tighdy closed containers. 

Yeast also produces carbon dioxide 
gas which aerates the dough and the 
final product and aids in its maturing 
or conditioning. It is available in moist 
or compressed yeast and as dry yeast. 
Dry yeast comes in foil packages and 
needs no refrigeration. Compressed 
yeast should always be stored in a cool 
place, preferably in a cool room or in 
the refrigerator at 42° F. If the tem- 
perature is lower, the yeast will keep 
for a longer period. If the yeast is 
frozen it will keep up to 3 months, 
after which there is a falling off in 
gas-producing power. Once yeast has 
been taken from the freezer and al- 
lowed to come up to a higher temper- 
ature, it should not be refrozen. 

The primary function of salt in bread 
is to give flavor. Salt gives stability to 
the gluten to enable it to stretch with- 
out breaking as the gas expands. Salt 
prevents yeast from working too fast. 
For this reason some homemakers like 
to use more salt in the summer since the 
heat tends to speed up fermentation. 

Sugar is not necessary in bread- 
making from the standpoint of fer- 
mentation. But sugar does add flavor, 
improve texture, and increase brown- 
ing potential. Sugar is a quick food for 
yeast, and occasionally it is added in 
amounts just to start yeast activity. 

Fat and oil in bread improve flavor, 
add richness, and make it tender. They 
also help to keep bread moist. 

Eggs provide a more delicate texture 
to breads as well as adding flavor. 
However, they are not essential in 

Fancy breads may contain nuts, 
fruits, spices, and other flavorings. 

One of the most vital steps in baking 
is measuring. Measuring is important 
in achieving a standard product each 
time it is made. After you select a 

recipe, do not alter the ingredients 
unless you know what the results will 
be, and you desire them. 

Measuring equipment is inexpen- 
sive. Here is the basic equipment you 
should have: (1) A nest of measuring 
cups including ){ cup, % cup, ){ cup, 
and 1 cup measure. Also available is 
a 1-cup and 2-cup graduated measur- 
ing cup with its capacity measure at 
the rim. (2) A set of measuring spoons 
including a ){ teaspoon, % teaspoon, 
1 teaspoon, and a tablespoon measure. 
(3) A measuring cup with the 1-cup 
line below the rim of the cup is good 
for measuring liquid ingredients. (4) 
A flour sifter. (5) A spatula to level 
off dry ingredients. A spatula looks 
like a knife but is straight on both 
sides and does not have a point. (6) 
A rubber scraper, which has many 
functions. It can be used to retrieve 
all the fat left in a measuring cup or 
to scrape batter from a bowl in mixing 
and when putting into a pan. 

Recipes may call for sifted or un- 
sifted flour. Sifted flour will be lighter 
in weight per cup, and substitution 
of sifted for unsifted flour is not 
advisable. Flour should be spooned 
lightly into a measuring cup and then 
leveled off with a spatula. Never shake 
the cup to level off the flour. 

Brown sugar should be packed 
firmly in the cup. It should hold its 
shape when removed from the cup. 

Sometimes brown sugar becomes 
lumpy. Sifting in a somewhat coarse 
sieve will help remove lumps. 

Other sugars can be spooned into a 
cup, heaping slightly, and leveled off 
with a spatula. Should there be lumps, 
sift before measuring. 

When measuring soda, baking pow- 
der, salt, and spices, the measuring 
spoon may be dipped into the con- 
tainer of the product and leveled off 
with a spatula. Some containers have 
paper covers that can be cut and used 
to level off the product. 

Liquids should be measured in a 
liquid type measuring cup with the 
rim above the cup marker. This gives 
the opportunity to get the exact 
measure without spilling. 


Above, apple crown pound cake. Right, 
the basic measuring equipment for 
baking: Liquid measuring cup, sifter, 
nest of measuring cups, measuring 
spoons, spatula, and rubber scraper. 


In measuring a spoonful of liquid 
like vanilla or other flavoring, measure 
over an empty dish and not over other 

Butter, margarine, and shortening 
can be spooned from the container 
and packed firmly into a graduated or 
nest cup, leveling off with the rim. 

The recipe you have selected will, 
as a general rule, give the size pan to 
use. Pans should be prepared before 
the mixture is begun. Should you use 
an oven glass pan instead of another 
type, lower your oven temperature 
25° F. since the product may brown 
too quickly at the higher temperature. 

Pans used for sponge or foam type 
cakes should not be greased or treated. 
However, jelly and cake roll cakepans 
are the exceptions and they should be 
lined with greased paper. 

Pans used in shortening-type cakes 
should be greased and floured or lined 
with wax paper. To flour a greased 
pan, put approximately a spoonful of 
flour in pan and shake until pan is 
covered. Tap gently to remove excess. 

The oven should always be pre- 
heated. Racks should be level and 
spaced well. In placing pans in the 
oven, keep in mind that the heat is the 
most even in the middle of the oven. 

The two methods of combining 
ingredients in yeast breads are: The 
straight dough and the sponge methods. 

In the straight dough method, the 
procedure should be (a) combining 
and mixing the ingredients ; (b) knead- 
ing the dough — the dough should be 
kneaded until it is satiny (but batter 
doughs do not need this step. This 
dough is soft enough to form gluten 
by beating with spoon or mixer.) ; 
(c) allowing the dough to rise until 
dough has doubled in bulk; (d) shap- 
ing the loaves or rolls; (e) allowing 
them to rise again; and (f) baking at 
specified temperature and time. 

In the sponge method of combining 
ingredients, there are two mixings. 
The liquid and yeast are combined, 
and just enough flour is added to make 
a thick batter. This mixture must be 
put in a warm place to rise. It will 
become light or bubbly. The rest of 

the flour, sugar, fat, and salt are 
added to the batter to make a dough 
that can be kneaded. The remainder 
of the procedure is like the straight 
dough method. In this method, less 
yeast is needed because of the length 
of time it has to grow. Also, flavor of 
bread made through this method is 
different but some prefer it. 

The three general methods for 
combining ingredients for cakebaking 
are the muffin method, conventional 
method, and new speed method. 

• Muffin Method — This is the method 
generally used in making muffins and 
is perhaps the simplest method. The 
three main steps are: (1) Sift dry in- 
gredients together — flour, leavening, 
sugar, and salt (omit leavening and 
salt if self-rising flour is used). (2) 
Combine all the liquid ingredients — 
milk, beaten eggs, melted fat, and 
flavoring. (3) Add liquid to dry in- 
gredients. Stir until mixed well. 

• Conventional Method — This is con- 
sidered the old-fashioned method of 
cake mixing. The procedures are: (1) 
Cream fat until light and fluffy. (2) 
Add sugar gradually and continue 
creaming until the two are blended 
well. (3) Add egg or egg yolks and 
beat until they are blended well with 
fat and sugar. (4) Sift dry ingredients 
together. (5) Add the flour mixture 
alternately with milk and flavoring, 
beginning and ending with the flour. 
(6) Fold the stiffly beaten whites into 
the well-mixed batter. 

• New Speed Method — This method 
is known by several names, including 
baker's modified method or the one- 
bowl method. The steps in this method 
are: (1) Sift the dry ingredients to- 
gether in bowl. (2) Add the fat, milk, 
and flavoring. (3) Beat vigorously for 
2 minutes by hand (150 strokes per 
minute) or 2 minutes in the electric 
mixer. (4) Add the unbeaten eggs and 
beat for another 2 minutes. This 
method is extremely easy to use with 
an electric mixer. Texture of the cakes 
made by the speed method is very 
fine. The grain is finer and it may be 
described as "velvety" in contrast to 


the feathery texture which is the aim 
of the conventional method. 

To test cake for doneness, touch the 
top of the cake in the center lightly. 
If the indentation springs back, the 
cake is done; if the impression remains, 
the cake is not done. Another test is 
to insert a toothpick in the center of 
the cake. If the toothpick comes out 
clean, the cake is done. After baking, 
the cake should be removed from the 
oven to prevent dryness. 

Icing helps to keep the cake moist as 
well as increasing attractiveness and 

Plain pastry is made from flour, 
shortening, salt, and liquid. The fat 
is cut into the ingredients in pieces, 
or cut and rubbed in until mixture 
looks like fine breadcrumbs. Then the 
liquid is blended gradually either 
into all the mixture with a minimum 
of mixing, or into a part of the mix- 
ture. This mixture is blended in turn 
with the remaining fat and flour. If 
a liquid fat is used, it is added to 
the ingredients with the other liquid. 
Soft flours such as pastry and cake 
flours give a more delicate pastry 
than stronger all-purpose flour. 

After the dough is mixed, it is 
rolled with a rolling pin with gentle 
pressure, lifting it with fingers only 
slightly, and then placed in position 
in pie tin with care to avoid stretching. 
Pastry which is to be baked as a 
single shell can be put on outside of 
the piepan and pricked with a fork 
before baking so steam can escape. 

Plain and short-crust pastries can 
be modified by the addition of egg 
yolk, sugar, and other ingredients — 
such as nuts or dried fruit. 


18 to 24 rolls 

i&cup hot milk 

}i cup shortening or oil 

}i cup sugar 

1% teaspoons salt 

1 egg 

% cup water 

1 package active dry yeast 

About 4 cups flour 


Mix milk, fat, sugar, and salt in a 
large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm. 

Stir in egg, water, and yeast until 
yeast dissolves. Add 2 cups flour and 
beat until smooth. Gradually stir in 
more flour until dough leaves sides of 
the bowl. 

Turn dough onto lightly floured 
surface and knead until smooth and 

Place in a lightly greased bowl and 
turn over once to grease upper side of 
dough. Cover and let rise in a warm 
place (80° to 85° F.) until almost dou- 
ble in bulk, for 1 to \){ hours. Dough 
should rise until a light touch leaves a 
slight depression. Press the dough 
down into the bowl in order to remove 
air bubbles. 

To make plain rolls, divide dough 
into small pieces and roll into balls 
about \){ inches in diameter. Place in 
a shallow greased pan with the sides 
touching — or 1 inch apart if you prefer 
crusty sides. 

Cover loosely and let rise in a warm 
place until double in bulk, 45 minutes 
to 1 hour. 

Bake at 400° F., 15 to 20 minutes 
until browned. 

Brush rolls with melted butter or 
margarine after removing them from 
the oven, if desired. 


12 biscuits 

2 cups unsifted flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon salt 

Yi cup shortening 

About %, cup milk 

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. 
Mix in fat only until the mixture is 

Add most of the milk and stir to 
mix. Add more milk as needed to 
make a dough that is soft but not too 
sticky to knead. Knead dough gently 
on a lightly floured surface 10 to 12 
times. Form into a ball. 

Pat or roll dough to %- to %-inch 
thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit 
cutter or cut into squares with a knife. 
Place on an ungreased baking sheet — 

an inch apart for crusty biscuits; 
together for softer biscuits. 

Bake at 450° F., 12 to 15 minutes, or 
until golden brown. 

For cheese biscuits, combine % cup 
shredded sharp or extra sharp cheese 
with the dry ingredients before adding 


12 muffins 


1 cup milk 

y 3 cup oil or melted shortening 

2 cups unsifted flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
H cup sugar 

Beat egg until yolk and white are 
well blended. Blend in milk and fat. 

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly. 
Add liquid and stir until dry ingre- 
dients are barely moistened. Do not 
overmix. Batter should be lumpy. 

Fill greased muffin tins half full of 
batter. Bake at 400° F., 20 to 25 
minutes until browned. 

For blueberry muffins increase sugar 
to ){ cup. Lighdy blend in Y 4 cup 
fresh or drained canned blueberries 
when combining liquid and dry ingre- 
dients. Do not crush berries. 


8- or 9-inch pastry shell 

1 cup unsifted flour 

}i teaspoon salt 

y 3 cup shortening 

About 2 tablespoons cold water 

Mix flour and salt thoroughly. Mix 
in fat only until mixture is crumbly. 

Add a little water at a time, blend- 
ing lighdy. Dough should be just 
moist enough to cling together when 

Shape dough into a ball. Roll out on 
a lighdy floured surface or between 
two sheets of waxed paper. Fit care- 

fully into the piepan. Lift edges and 
smooth out air bubbles. For baked 
pastry shell, trim pastry, leaving about 
an inch around the edge. Fold edge 
under and shape into an upright rim. 
Prick bottom and sides well with a 
fork. Bake at 450° F. (very hot oven), 
for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pastry 
shell is golden brown. 


Two-crust pie — Double the recipe. 
Form the dough into two balls, one 
slighdy larger than the other. Roll out 
the larger ball of dough and fit into 
piepan. Roll out remaining dough for 
top crust; make several slits in crust 
to let steam escape during baking. 
Put filling into pastry-lined pan. Top 
with second crust. Fold edges of crusts 
under and press together to seal. Bake 
as directed in pie recipe. 


Two 8-inch layers 

V/i cups unsifted cake flour 

V/3 cups sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

% cup softened butter or margarine 

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 eggs 

2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened choc- 
olate, melted, cooled 

Mix dry ingredients well. Add fat 
and half of the milk; beat until creamy. 
Mix in remaining milk, vanilla, and 
eggs. Add chocolate; then beat until 

Pour into two 8-inch greased and 
floured layer cakepans. Bake at 350° F., 
30 to 35 minutes or until the cake's 
surface springs back when touched 
lighdy. Cool cake for a few minutes 
before removing from the pans. When 
cool, frost as desired. 

Note: For a loaf cake, use a greased 
and floured 9- by 12-inch cakepan. 
Bake about 40 minutes. 


Lois T. Kilgore 

How to Avoid 
Confusion in 
Fats and Oils 
Buying or Use 

The housewife is often confused by the 
many edible fats on market shelves 
today. If you purchase and prepare 
foods, you're faced with deciding which 
of these many fats to buy. You must 
keep in mind the many uses of fats and 
make your selection according to your 
needs and food budget. You probably 
need a fat for shortening baked prod- 
ucts and this may also be the same fat 
you use for frying. If you become 
familiar with the wide array of fats 
and their characteristics by reading 
the labels, choosing the fat that meets 
your needs will be easier. 

Shortenings are edible fats used to 
shorten baked goods. A baked mixture 
of flour and water would be tough 
without the addition of proper amounts 
of fat or oil. Fats produce tenderness 
by surrounding particles of starch and 
strands of gluten. In this way the 
strands of gluten are kept short; hence, 
the name "shortening." 

Although oils, butter, margarine, 
and lard may all be used as shortening 
agents, the products that have come 
to be known as shortenings are the 
vegetable fats or animal and vegetable 
mixtures that are plastic. 

This means they are soft and creamy 


and may be easily molded or shaped. 

Shortening as a food product is an 
American invention, growing out of 
the cotton-raising industry. The first 
shortenings, prepared by a blending 
of hard fats (edible tallows) and soft 
fats (cottonseed oil), were called com- 
pounds and were frankly conceived 
and marketed as substitutes for lard. 
In the beginning, the American meat- 
packers literally controlled the short- 
ening industry, for they controlled the 
supply of hard animal fat which was 
an essential ingredient. 

Solid fats are usually of animal ori- 
gin and are composed of considerable 
amounts of saturated fatty acids which 
contain as many hydrogen atoms as 
the carbon chain can hold. Fats of 
vegetable origin are usually liquid oils 
and the unsaturated fatty acids are 
predominant. These may be monoun- 
saturated with one reactive unsatu- 
rated linkage (double bond) which 
has two hydrogens missing; or poly- 
unsaturated with two or more reactive 
unsaturated linkages (double bonds) 
with four, six, eight, or more hydrogens 
missing. {Food, The 1959 Yearbook of 
Agriculture, pp. 76-77, contains an ex- 
cellent discussion on structure.) 

Introduction of the hydrogenation 
process in about 1910 made the manu- 
facturer of vegetable shortening inde- 
pendent. The hydrogenation process 
adds hydrogen to the unsaturated fatty 
acids, reducing their degree of unsat- 
uration and transforming them to the 
corresponding saturated fatty acids. 
This changes the liquid oil to a plastic 
fat, and makes any blending with an 
animal fat unnecessary. 

Since about 1933, further changes 
in the method of manufacturing hy- 
drogenated shortenings have involved 
the addition of mono- and di-glycerides. 
The superior emulsifying properties of 
fats so treated cause a fine dispersion 
of the fat in the dough or cake and 
allow a higher ratio of sugar to flour. 

Lois T. Kilgore is Professor of Home Economics, 
College of Agriculture, Mississippi State Univer- 
sity. She is in charge of the Foods and Nutrition 
Laboratory at the Mississippi Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station. 

These shortenings are described as 
"high ratio" or emulsified. They have 
become popular for use in cakes, sweet 
yeast doughs, and similar products. 
The shortenings have a lowered smoke 
point and are less desirable for frying. 

For a long period of time there was 
an approximate parity in price be- 
tween compound shortening and lard, 
but high production and undesirable 
qualities in lard caused a decrease in 
its price. Until recently, the lack of 
uniformity of lard and some of its 
properties such as odor, flavor, grainy 
texture, low smoke point, and suscep- 
tibility to rancidity have resulted in a 
greatly reduced usage of lard. Many 
years of research by government and 
industrial laboratories have improved 
the quality, uniformity, and functional 
properties of lard. 

Shortenings of the all-vegetable-oil 
variety have always commanded a 
price above the compound shortenings. 
Retail prices of vegetable oils are even 
higher than hydrogenated shortenings. 

In recent years shortening products 
containing lard or lard and beef fat 
blends have been refined, stiffened by 
hydrogenation, fortified with an anti- 
oxidant, deodorized, and in some cases 
superglycerinated to make them com- 
parable to all-vegetable hydrogenated 
shortenings. From 1940 to 1963 the 
amount of lard used in shortenings 
increased 35-fold. 

Commonly used food fats are com- 
plicated mixtures which do not have 
a sharp melting point but solidify over 
a wide temperature range. This fact 
is demonstrated when oils cloud on 
refrigeration. Many vegetable oils are 
"winterized" to prevent this, par- 
ticularly salad oils. The process of 
winterizing an oil consists of chilling 
it to a temperature of 40° to 45° F. 
and removing the precipitated solid 
crystals by filtration. The resulting 
oil remains clear at ordinary refriger- 
ator temperatures. 

The first recognizable deterioration 
in fats, such as lard, oils, and short- 
ening, is the development of rancidity. 
This is an oxidative change which in 
vegetable oils is inhibited by naturally 

occurring antioxidants. Since animal 
fats do not contain natural antioxi- 
dants to protect them, it is necessary 
to add chemical agents to delay the 
onset of rancidity. The U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture has approved 
and specified the amount permitted 
for about a dozen antioxidants that 
may be used in animal fats. 

Shortenings, whether of vegetable 
origin or mixtures, keep well at room 
temperature. But if a shortening is 
kept over a long period, it might be 
well to store it in the refrigerator. 
Allowing it to return to room tem- 
perature before use results in easier 
measuring and blending and also in 
a better pastry. 

Only shortenings containing animal 
fats are inspected by USDA. A system 
of continuous inspection has been 
developed with the Federal inspectors 
placed in each plant to supervise the 
handling at every step. Inspection is 
concerned with facilities, equipment, 
sanitation, source and quality of raw 
materials, acceptable manufacturing 
practices, laboratory testing, and label- 
ing. Only edible fats from U.S. in- 
spected and passed carcasses may be 
used in animal fat shortenings. 

When you see the familiar round 
stamp "U.S. Inspected and Passed," 
you know that the label is truthful 
and the product is wholesome and 
suitable for human consumption. 

Standards of identity define what 
a food must contain to be called by 
a particular name. Congress has es- 
tablished a standard of identity for 
butter. The Food and Drug Admin- 
istration has adopted standards of 
identity for margarine (oleomarga- 
rine), mayonnaise, french dressing, 
and salad dressing. 

Butter must contain at least 80 
percent milk fat, and nothing may be 
added except salt and coloring. USDA 
has set up standards for grading butter 
based on flavor, texture, color, and 
salt content. The Federal grading of 
butter is not compulsory, but the U.S. 
grade label on the outside carries the 
assurance that the butter has been 
tested by a Government grader. 


Margarine or oleomargarine is a 
product made to resemble butter in 
which one or more optional fat in- 
gredients are used along with or in 
place of the butterfat. Margarine was 
first made in France in 1870 when 
Napoleon III offered a prize for a 
butter substitute. Margarine, like but- 
ter, is a water-in-oil emulsion and 
must contain 80 percent fat. In making 
margarine, the melted fat is agitated 
with skim milk that has been pasteur- 
ized and which may have been cul- 
tured with a bacterial starter. 

The flavor of margarine at one time 
depended to a large extent upon the 
treatment of the milk. Today, flavor 
is obtained principally by adding 
flavoring substances permitted under 
Federal standards of identity. Salt, 
preservatives, emulsifiers, vitamins A 
and D may be used as additives. The 
addition of 15,000 units of vitamin A 
per pound (which is the average 
amount found in butter), although 
not mandatory, is almost universal. 
However, the only way to be sure of 
the content of margarine is to read 
the label, since Federal regulations 
require full ingredient disclosure. 

Suppose someone in your family is 
on a diet and has been cautioned to 
eat more polyunsaturated fat and less 
saturated fat. What does the manu- 
facturer's label tell you? 

The manufacturer must list the 
predominant ingredient first. For ex- 
ample, if the ingredients are listed as 
"liquid corn oil, partially-hydrogena- 
ted soybean oil, water, salt, etc.," this 
means the buyer may expect that 
there is more of polyunsaturated corn 
oil than of partially-saturated soybean 
oil in that margarine. 

Now on the market are margarines 
significantly reduced in calories. These 
are currently very plainly marked as 
imitation margarine, and they only 
contain about half the amount of fat 
that real margarine must contain. 
Consequently the calories present in 
imitation margarine are about half 
of the amount found in margarine. 
Because of aeration, whipped mar- 
garine contains only about two-thirds 


of the calories in an equal volume of 
plain margarine. 

Within the past 10 years, there has 
been a continuing increase in the use 
of margarine. This is probably owing 
to the fact that margarine has been 
substantially improved as a bread 
spread and that the retail price of 
butter in 1968 was about three times 
the price of margarine. 

Deterioration of lards, shortenings, 
and salad oils (all of these contain no 
water) is almost wholly the result of 
oxidation caused by the combination 
with oxygen from the air. Butter and 
margarine contain water, and ran- 
cidity may be due to enzyme action or 
to micro-organisms that break down 
the fat and water into glycerol and 
fatty acid. If short-chain, fatty acids 
are present, this breakdown will result 
in a rancid odor that can be detected 
at room temperature. 

Fats from soybeans in shortening 
and margarine are also susceptible to 
reversion. This is a change in edible 
fats characterized by the development 
of an objectionable flavor. This objec- 
tionable flavor is quite often "fishy" 
or "painty." The high percentage of 
polyunsaturated fatty acids such as 
linolenic acid in soybean oil would 
make margarine produced with soy- 
bean oil very susceptible to reversion. 

Since butter and margarine absorb 
odors so noticeably, they should be 
stored in covered containers in the 
refrigerator. If they are to be kept 
for a long period of time, they should 
be frozen. 

It is well known that the shortening 
power of fats and oils varies with 
differences in temperature (particu- 
larly as this affects plasticity of fat), 
fat/flour ratio, and mixing techniques. 
However, several studies of tenderness 
in pastry have indicated that lard 
makes a more tender pastry than 
hydrogenated vegetable oil, whereas 
butter or margarine will produce the 
least tender pastry. 

Further studies have shown that 
when increasing amounts of fats are 
added to pastry, optimum tenderness 
is achieved at lower levels with corn, 

cottonseed, or soybean oil than with 
any of the solid fats. Good quality 
pastries can be made with oils, lard, 
or hydrogenated shortening when the 
proper amount of fat and proper mix- 
ing techniques are used. 

In this country, few desserts are as 
popular as pie. The success of a pie 
depends partly upon the quality of 
the crust. You, as the cook, have a 
number of decisions to make. You 
must choose the ingredients, amounts, 
methods of mixing, and temperature 
of cooking. 

In a pastry made with hydrogenated 
fat, approximately % cup of fat per 
cup of flour is used. But with lard 
or oil, yi cup of fat per cup of flour 
is adequate. Lard and hydrogenated 
shortenings are cut into the flour with 
a pastry blender or two knives. Oil is 
stirred into flour with a fork either 
as water-oil mixture or just before 
adding water. Hot water may be 
added to a plastic shortening and 
stirred into the flour in the same 
fashion. Crusts made with oil or by 
using hot water are often more mealy 
than flaky. Pastry made with lard or 
hydrogenated shortenings are usually 
flaky as well as tender. 

If you are not satisfied with your 
pastry, try different fats or oils using 
recommended recipes. Commercial 
companies spend a great deal of money 
on research to develop better recipes 
for their products, so their recipes are 
usually dependable. 

Maybe your favorite dessert is cake. 
Fat in cake batter not only serves to 
make the crumb tender, but it entraps 
air during the creaming process and 
thus contributes to the leavening and 
increases the volume of the cake. Too 
little fat results in a dry cake that 
is not "velvety" and tender. Too much 
fat makes a crumbly, heavy cake which 
may fall in the center. 

Plastic fat is melted when used in 
the muffin method of cake mixing. 
Oil may be used in a modification of 
this method, in which egg whites 
beaten with or without part of the 
sugar are added after combining the 
other ingredients. This cake is often 

called chiffon cake. Because of the 
difference in mixing and the higher 
ratio of sugar, do not try to substitute 
oil for solid fats in other cake recipes. 

However, plastic fat in the conven- 
tional method of cake mixing does not 
need to be melted because it is 
creamed until it is light and fluffy. 
Flavoring is added while the fat is 
being creamed, for fat carries flavors 
far better than other ingredients do. 
Eggs serve as an emulsifying agent — 
to promote dispersion of fat. 

The "quick mix" or "one bowl" 
method of mixing cakes was developed 
for the shortenings containing emulsi- 
fiers and makes especially good cakes 
with recipes that use a higher ratio of 
sugar to flour and other ingredients. 

As previously stated, shortenings 
with emulsifiers have a low smoke 
point. When fats or oils are heated to 
a high temperature, decomposition 
occurs, and finally a point is reached 
at which visible fumes are given off. 
This is the smoke point. The fumes 
have an unpleasant odor and are 
irritating to the nose and eyes. 

Food fried in smoking fats is likely 
to have an unpleasant flavor, and the 
fat will become rancid faster than fat 
which has not been heated to smoke 

An ideal fat for frying food is one 
that has a fairly high smoke point. 
Most cooking oils and all hydrogen- 
ated shortenings (without emulsifiers) 
have high smoke points. Smoke points 
vary for lards. Butter, margarine, and 
shortenings with emulsifiers have low 
smoke points and do not make good 
frying fats. Repeated use of a fat 
lowers the smoke point. Foods absorb 
more fat, which is undesirable, when 
they are cooked in a fat with a low 
smoke point. 

A frying utensil that is relatively 
small in diameter is better for frying 
than a large one because the smoke 
point is lowered if a large surface of 
fat is exposed. Smoke point is also 
lowered by crumbs, bits of food, and 
flour. To remove such particles, fat 
is filtered through cheesecloth. Used 
fat should be stored in the refrigerator 


inasmuch as it is more susceptible to 
rancidity than unused fat. 

Deep-fat frying is more of an art 
than a science, and experience is the 
best teacher. Are your french-fried 
potatoes soggy and greasy? Maybe 
your frying fat is not hot enough. 
The temperature of the fat should be 
370° to 385° F. At this temperature 
a 1-inch bread cube will brown in 20 
to 45 seconds. The potatoes should 
be cooked in small batches so tempera- 
ture of the fat will not be lowered 
drastically. If you have time and want 
to make a real treat for the family, 
try this two-step method : 

Pare the potatoes; cut lengthwise in 
%-inch to %-inch strips. Rinse strips 
quickly in cold water to remove sur- 
face starch, then dry them well. Heat 
deep fat (5 inches) in a 7-inch to 9-inch 
saucepan to 370° to 385° F. Place a 
layer of potatoes in a frying basket; 
lower basket gently into fat. Cook 
about 6 minutes (potatoes should be 
tender but not brown). Drain on ab- 
sorbent paper. Repeat with another 
layer. When all potatoes have been 
cooked, reheat fat. Return two layers 
of potatoes at a time to basket and 
brown the potatoes in the hot fat. 
Drain, sprinkle with salt, and serve. 

A delicious food that utilizes pan- 
frying is fried rice. A recipe tells how 
to prepare this Chinese food. 


6 servings 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine 
1% cups water 
1 cup rice, uncooked 

3 cups cold cooked rice 

Cooking Oil 

}i pound fresh lean pork 

1 cup cooked pork strips 

4 scallions, medium size, cut up 
1 pepper, chopped 

3 tablespoons soy sauce 

Add salt and fat to water and bring 
to rolling boil; stir in uncooked rice. 


Cover tightly and cook over low heat 
until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. 

Uncover the pot for the last 5 min- 
utes of cooking and fluff rice with a 
fork. To avoid spattering, dry rice in 
warm oven or use day-old rice. 

Cut fresh pork into strips. Lightly 
cover the bottom of heavy frying pan 
with cooking oil. Brown pork strips 
quickly; cover to finish cooking. Re- 
move pork to bowl. 

Put scallions and pepper in frying 
pan; cover and cook until tender. 
Remove to bowl containing pork. 

Add more oil to frying pan and fry 
rice until browned, stirring constantly. 

Add pork, vegetables, and soy sauce. 
Toss lightly and serve. 

Another important way that fats are 
used is in oil-in-water emulsions. Such 
food emulsions occur naturally as in 
milk or prepared as in mayonnaise 
and salad dressings. Actually, certain 
baked products like cakes and cream 
puffs are also emulsions. Mayonnaise 
is a stable emulsion of oil droplets in 
water. The emulsion is considered 
permanent because it is stabilized with 
egg yolk. The ingredients of mayon- 
naise are almost always vegetable oil, 
vinegar or lemon juice, eggs or yolks, 
and selected spices. 

Salad dressing is a product which 
resembles mayonnaise. It contains 
essentially the same constituents ex- 
cept a cooked starch paste is substi- 
tuted for part of the egg, and the 
amount of oil is thus reduced. Home- 
made french dressing is usually a 
temporary emulsion containing the 
same ingredients as mayonnaise with- 
out egg. Finely ground spices like 
paprika act here as emulsifying agents 
but are not sufficiently good emulsi- 
fiers to keep the oil and water phases 
from separating after a few minutes. 
Commercial french dressings usually 
contain small amounts of stabilizing 
ingredients such as vegetable gums or 
pectins and tomato paste or puree. 

According to the U.S. Food and 
Drug Administration, mayonnaise must 
contain at least 65 percent oil, but 
commercially the oil levels run around 

75 percent. Commercial french dress- 
ings must contain not less than 35 
percent vegetable oil, and salad dress- 
ings must contain 30 percent oil as a 
minimum but often are found as high 
as 45 percent. Because of the cost 
difference in ingredients, mayonnaise 
is usually more expensive than salad 

Salad dressings and french dressings 
contain about 50 to 60 calories per 
tablespoon, while mayonnaise contains 
around 100 calories per tablespoon. 
Imitation mayonnaises (reduced in oil 
content) are on the market, and these 
contain approximately 20 calories per 

Variations can be made by adding 
chopped foods to mayonnaise, french 
dressing, or salad dressing. Some of 
the ingredients commonly added arc 
green pepper, olives, pimiento, pickle, 
hard-cooked egg, celery, parsley, on- 
ion, horseradish, chili sauce, cream, 
raisins, cherries, nuts, pineapple, and 
Roquefort or cream cheese. Special 
low-calorie dressings which often con- 
tain less than 10 calories per table- 
spoon are made with very little oil, a 
fruit or vegetable base, and artificial 

Mayonnaise is easy to make but 
certain precautions that may not be 
included in your recipe are : Too shal- 
low a bowl will result in spreading the 
egg yolk into a thin film so that little 
or no mixing takes place at the begin- 
ning when thorough mixing is crucial. 
The oil, at room temperature, should 
be added in very small quantities at 
first and then more rapidly. If mayon- 
naise curdles during mixing or sepa- 
rates after it is made, you may start 
mixing again with an egg yolk or a 
tablespoon of water or vinegar. The 
curdled or separated mayonnaise must 
be added to the egg yolk or liquid. 
There is no value in adding the egg or 
liquid to the mixture. 

This chapter would not be complete 
without mentioning peanut butter. 
This is the only nut butter produced 
commercially to any extent in this 
country. Peanut butter, which con- 
tains about 50 percent fat, is frequendy 


used as a substitute for other fats in 
cakes, cookies, and candy. It is valued 
as a very nutritive spread because of 
its high fat, protein, mineral, and 
B-vitamin content. 

If you are an adult and have held 
peanut butter in disdain since your 
childhood, try some. It has been 
improved with emulsifiers and stabi- 
lizers. Delicious canapes and sand- 
wiches can be made by using peanut 
butter with additions of jellies, raisins, 
bananas, minced bacon, or pickle 


Verna A. Mikesh 
Leona S. Nelson 

Sugar, Sweets 
Play Roles in 
Food Texture 
and Flavoring 

On each day, people everywhere say, 
"Please pass the sugar." Whether it's 
to sweeten the morning cereal or the 
midnight snack, sugar or a sweet in 
some form is a daily necessity. 

Nutritionally, sugars, maple sirup, 
molasses, table sirup, jams and jellies, 
honey, and other sweets provide the 
body with the fuel to release energy. 
Artificial sweeteners provide sweet- 
ness — but no nutritional value. No one 
sugar or sweet is "more healthful" 
than another. The small amounts of 
minerals and vitamins in the unrefined 
forms are of little consequence in 
supplying an adequate diet. 

Table sugar is one of our cheapest 
sources of food energy. The familiar 
white crystals are sucrose extracted 
and refined from sugar beets or sugar- 
cane. Chemically, cane and beet 
sugars are the same. In cooking and 
preserving, they act the same. 

Sugar performs many functions in 
cooking besides adding sweetness and 
enhancing flavors. It contributes to 
the lightness, color, and fine grain of 
baked products. Sugar softens the 
gluten strands of the flour, enabling 
them to expand with the action of 


leavening to give a light product. It 
furnishes quickly available food for 
yeast in bread doughs. Carbon dioxide 
thrown off by yeast growth expands 
the dough. Oven heat caramelizes the 
sugar giving the flavorful, crisp, brown 
crust we enjoy on baked products. 

Sugar tenderizes egg protein. With 
sugar in a mixture, more air can be 
beaten into egg whites, and the foam 
will be more stable. This raises the 
temperature at which egg proteins 
coagulate. In an angel food cake, for 
example, the tiny air cells can expand 
before being set by oven heat. A 
smooth custard results from the slow 
coagulation of egg protein. 

This recipe illustrates how sugar is 
used with beaten egg whites to make a 
delicious dessert. 


8 servings 

3 egg whites 

}i teaspoon baking powder 

1 cup sugar 

10 square (2-inch) soda crackers rolled 

fine (H cup crumbs) 
y 2 cup chopped nutmeats 
1 quart of strawberries or raspberries, 

washed and trimmed 
}i cup whipping cream 
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, as desired 

Beat egg whites and baking powder 
until frothy. Beat sugar in gradually 
until the egg whites are stiff. Fold in 
crumbs and nutmeats. Spread on a 
greased 9-inch piepan. Bake in a slow 
oven (300° F.) for 30 minutes. Cool. 
Fill with the berries. Whip cream, 
sweeten with sugar, and spread over 
berries. Chill several hours. 

Puddings, pie fillings, and dessert 
sauces owe their body and smooth- 
ness to sugar. To prevent lumping, mix 
the sugar and starch together before 
combining with the liquid. Improve 
the smoothness of hot cocoa by blend- 
ing the dry cocoa with sugar before 
combining with the liquid. 

Verna A. Mikesh is Extension Nutritionist and 
Leona S. Nelson is an Assistant Extension Ir.for- 
mation Specialist, with the Agricultural Extension 
Service, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. 

Frozen desserts are smooth because 
sugar lowers the freezing point of the 
mixture to be frozen. This factor, plus 
stirring, makes tiny ice crystals in the 
food. The result is a smooth and a 
creamy product. 

Candies and frostings further dem- 
onstrate the many physical and chemi- 
cal characteristics of sugar. Vary the 
sugar concentration, temperature, agi- 
tation, and other ingredients to make 
a myriad of sweets. 

The ability of sugar to change to 
invert sugar makes creamy fudge and 
fondant because invert sugar induces 
a very fine crystal structure. 

Moisture, heat, and acid bring about 
this chemical change. Acid ingredients 
such as cream of tartar or chocolate 
accelerate it. The addition of corn 
sirup also aids in controlling the crystal 

Candies such as butterscotch don't 
have any crystals due to the combina- 
tion of invert sugar, high temperature, 
and corn sirup. They harden before 
they crystallize. 

As the concentration of sugar in a 
sirup increases, the boiling temperature 

Temperature and Tests for Sugar Cookery 

Thread Test 





Sirup spins a 
2-inch thread. 

Cold Water Test 

Drop sirup into very 

;old water. 



Fondant Fudge, 


Sirup forms a soft 
ball that flattens 



when removed 
from water. 



Sirup forms a firm 
ball that doesn't 
flatten when 
removed from 



Sirup forms a 
hard ball that 
holds its shape 
yet remains 



Sirup separates 


into threads 
that are hard 
but not brittle 
(soft crack). 



Sirup separates 
into threads 

that are hard 

and brittle 

(hard crack). 

Creamy pecan fudge. 

rises. A candy thermometer aids in 
making candy and frosting. The cold 
water test is less reliable, but many 
people use it. 

Sugar preserves the color and flavor 
of fruit in the form of jams and jellies. 
The acid and pectin in the fruit, plus 
sugar, makes a gel. The cooked prod- 
ucts keep without further processing 
because sugar minimizes the growth of 

Store white granulated sugar cov- 
ered and in a dry place. 

Other sugars (brown), molasses, 
honey, and sirup have many of the 
qualities of white granulated sugar be- 
cause they are similar physically and 
chemically. They add interest to food 
with their distinctive flavors and spe- 
cial properties. 

Brown sugar is brown and soft be- 
cause some of the original sugar sirup 
remains around the crystals. The color 
varies from very light to the more 
robust-flavored dark brown. 


Store brown sugar in an airtight 
container to keep it from drying out. 
Adding half of an apple in the con- 
tainer provides moisture, but check it 
occasionally for mold. Soften hardened 
brown sugar by heating it in a slow 
oven. It becomes harder than ever 
after cooling, so handle it while it is 
still warm. 

Measure brown sugar by packing it 
into the measuring utensil. The sugar 
should retain its shape when the utensil 
is lifted off. Your grocer may also have 
the granulated form of brown sugar. 
Measure granulated brown sugar as 
you would white sugar. Follow pack- 
age directions for substituting it in 
your recipes. 

Powdered or confectioners sugar is 
very finely ground granulated sugar. 
A small percent of cornstarch may be 
added to prevent caking. Powdered 
sugar may need sifting to insure a 
smooth frosting and accurate measure- 
ment. You may like the new granu- 
lated form that measures easily and 
blends smoothly. It is more expensive 
but it's convenient. 

Molasses that is a byproduct of sugar 
manufacture contains sulphur dioxide. 
Some manufacturers make an "un- 
sulphured" molasses by concentrating 
the juice of sugarcane without the 
intention of making sugar. 

High-grade mild molasses is used in 
table sirups. The darker kinds lend 
color and flavor to many cooked foods. 
In addition to sugar, molasses con- 
tains some calcium and iron. 

There is little nutritional advantage 
in using crude blackstrap molasses, a 
byproduct of sugar manufacture. 

Sugar-rich sorghum cane yields 
sorghum sirup. Those who enjoy its 
distinctive flavor use it as they would 
molasses and sirup. The market forms 
may contain invert sugar to prevent 

The American Indian discovered 
that the concentrated sap of the maple 
tree makes a delicious sweet. Maple 
sirup and maple sugar are expensive 
but highly prized for their flavor. 

Not only is this prized flavor imi- 
tated, but often maple sugar and sirup 


are blended with less expensive sweets 
to pour over the pancakes of the 
budget-conscious consumer. 

Making maple sirup requires time, 
labor, and skill. It takes about 40 
gallons of sap boiled down to make 
1 gallon of sirup or 8 pounds of sugar. 

Color is the principal factor in 
grading maple sirup which meets all 
the other requirements for density, 
flavor, and clearness. 

USDA grades for maple sirup are: 

Light amber — U.S. grade AA; me- 
dium amber — U.S. grade A; dark 
amber — U.S. grade B; unclassified. 

You can buy maple sirup in any 
quantity ranging from a gallon to less 
than a pint. Sirup in sealed containers 
keeps well at room temperature. Re- 
frigerate open containers to prevent 
mold formation. Rebotde the sirup 
bought in large lots by heating it to 
180° F. and sealing in sterilized jars. 

Store maple creme in the refriger- 
ator or freezer; store maple sugar at 
room temperature in a dry place. 

Enjoy maple flavor with this dessert. 


Use 1 cup maple sirup and 1 tea- 
spoon grated lemon rind for six apples. 
Choose tart baking apples. Pare about 
one-third of the way down and core. 
Place in a baking dish. Pour sirup and 
lemon rind over them. Bake 1 hour at 
375° F. Baste occasionally with sirup. 
Serve warm with sirup and cream. 


Warm maple sirup slightly. Pour 
over ice cream, and sprinkle with 
chopped nuts for a delicious sundae. 

Corn supplies another sweet in the 
form of corn sirup. These sirups, white 
and dark, are made by subjecting corn 
starch to the action of acid or enzymes. 
Though less expensive than other 
sirups, they aren't as sweet and are 
used in candymaking, infant formulas, 
the manufacture of table sirups, and in 
other products requiring sweetening. 

The grocer's shelf holds a large 
variety of the blended table sirups for 

pancakes and waffles. They include 
sugar, corn, and maple sirups in 
varying proportions as stated on the 
label. Other ingredients such as butter, 
salt, honey, sorghum, imitation flavor- 
ing, coloring, stabilizers, and preserva- 
tives are also included and listed. 

Since maple sirup is the most ex- 
pensive, and corn sirup the least, cost 
will vary with the amounts of each 
that are used. 

Honey, the sweetest tasting of all 
sweets, contains some fructose, which 
is one-fifth sweeter than granulated 

Color and flavor of honey are 
determined by the flowers from which 
the bees collect the nectar. Light- 
colored, mild kinds come from clovers. 
One of the darkest and most strongly 
flavored is from buckwheat. Citrus 
blossom, tupelo, sage, and basswood 
are well-liked, distinctive honey flavors. 

Most of the honey on the market is 
extracted honey, that is, honey sepa- 
rated from the comb. Extracted honey 
in a crystallized form is called honey 
creme or honey spread. Comb honey 
is usually more expensive because it 
is difficult and costly to produce. 

U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy indi- 
cates top grade honey. Next is U.S. 
Grade B. Flavor is a most important 
factor in honey grading, plus clarity 
and absence of defects. Color isn't a 
factor in U.S. grades. 

Liquid honey can be bought in 
quantities ranging from a large tin 
pail to a small plastic squeeze bottle. 
Creme honey comes in plastic or 
paper-type tubs. One and one-third 
cups of honey weigh 1 pound. 

Store honey tightly covered to retain 
its flavor and aroma. Keep it at room 
temperature to retard granulation. If 
it granulates, put the container in a 
bowl of warm water to melt the 
crystals. Honey stored over a long time 
may darken somewhat, but it will 
still be usable. 

Cooked foods made with honey are 
slightly sweeter, have more color, and 
a different texture from those made 
with sugar. Baked goods remain soft 
as honey absorbs moisture from the 

air. Candies and meringues made 
with honey may absorb excess mois- 
ture, making them soft and sticky. 
Freezing intensifies the honey flavor 
in baked products. 

For best results when using honey 
in cooking and baking, follow recipes 
especially designed for honey. 

Try these foods for honey flavor 


5 servings 

1 quart milk 

2 sticks cinnamon 
K cup cocoa 

}i teaspoon salt 

3 tablespoons honey 

Scald milk with cinnamon sticks. 
Mix cocoa and salt; blend in % cup 
hot milk until smooth. Add to scalded 
milk and stir in honey. Remove the 
cinnamon sticks. Mix with a rotary 


8 muffins 

% cup sifted flour 

1% teaspoon baking powder 

}i teaspoon salt 

}i cup cornmeal 

1 egg, well beaten 

%cup milk 

% cup honey 

3 tablespoons shortening, melted 

Yt cup pared diced apple 

Mix the flour, baking powder, and 
salt. Stir in cornmeal. Combine egg, 
milk, honey, and shortening. Add all 
at once to cornmeal mixture; add 
apple; stir only enough to dampen 
flour. Spoon into 8 well-greased, 2- 
inch muffin pans. Bake at 400° F. for 
15 to 20 minutes. 

The array of jellies, jams, preserves, 
and marmalades on the grocer's shelf 
indicates that these are important food 
specialties. Calorie counters and spe- 
cial dieters can purchase varieties 
made with artificial sweeteners. 

The Food and Drug Administration 
has established standards of identity 
for jams, jellies, and preserves. Among 
other things they must be made with 


no less than 45 parts of fruit to 55 
parts of sweeteners by weight. If the 
product doesn't meet the composition 
requirement, then it must be labeled 

In addition, the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture has developed grade 
standards in cooperation with the 
preserving industry. You may find a 
continuous inspection shield on the 
label or lid, but more often, it will be 
the red, white, and blue U.S. Grade 
A or Fancy designation. This means 
the product was packed under the 
Department's continuous inspection. 
This doesn't imply that products with- 
out the inspection or grademark are 

Jelly adds a jewel-like sparkle to 
these cookies: 


2 dozen cookies 

\{ cup butter or margarine 

l /t cup brown sugar, packed 

1 egg, separated 

K teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup sifted flour 

K teaspoon salt 

% cup finely chopped nuts 

Tart red jelly, as needed 

Blend fat, sugar, egg yolk, and 
vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Beat egg 
white slightly. Roll dough into 1-inch 
balls. Dip in slightly beaten egg white. 
Roll into finely chopped nuts. Place 1 
inch apart on an ungreased cookie 
sheet. Bake 5 minutes at 375° F. Re- 
move from oven; quickly press thumb 
gently into the top of each cookie. 
Return to oven and bake 8 minutes 
longer or until lightly browned. Cool. 

Place a dab of red jelly in each 

There is a vast increase in the use of 
artificial sweeteners. Originally they 
were intended primarily for diabetics. 
But a weight-conscious society has 
adopted them as an aid to weight 

control. In this respect their effective- 
ness depends on the caloric regulation 
of other foods in the diet. 

Artificial sweeteners may be sac- 
charin, cyclamate, or a combination 
of the two. Any products which are 
artificially sweetened must show the 
ingredient that's used, along with the 
amount, on the label. These sweeteners 
are used in soft drinks, desserts, and 
other products being promoted as 
low-calorie foods. They may be bought 
for use as table sweetening or cooking, 
in tablet, liquid, or granular form. 

Sweetening equivalents as stated on 
the container differ among these 
products. For cooking and baking, use 
recipes especially designed for their 
use. Remember that they don't have 
the preservative qualities of sugar. 
Jams and jellies made with artificial 
sweetener must be refrigerated after 
opening. Baked products may mold 
in a short time. 

The Food and Drug Administration 
constantly checks artificial sweeteners 
for significant adverse effects at normal 
use levels. Manufactured products 
that contain sweeteners which are not 
designated on the label misbrand the 
product. This is why the Food and 
Drug Administration rules that the 
label must state these are non-nutritive 
artificial sweeteners recommended only 
for persons who must restrict their 
use of ordinary sweets. 

A stop at the candy counter in 
almost any establishment points out 
the size of the American sweet tooth. 

The choices range from a penny 
licorice whip to an elaborate box of 
fancy hand-dipped chocolates. Candies 
are part of our holiday fun: Fillers 
for Halloween trick or treat bags, 
Christmas hard mix, Valentine hearts, 
and multicolored jelly eggs at Easter. 
They have great social significance, as 
bribes or peace offerings, or expres- 
sions of love and joy. 

"Please help yourself and pass the 


Walter R. Moses 
Margaret F. Tennant 

Milk, Coffee, 
Tea, Juices, 

Without beverages our meals would 
be less nutritious and our working 
hours and social gatherings less enjoy- 
able. Their use is wide, their types 
varied, and their history long. 

Coffee drinking became a popular 
pastime in the coffeehouses of London 
in the middle 17th century where 
literary, scientific, religious, and po- 
litical matters were discussed over cups 
of the steaming brew. 

Tea has been used as a beverage 
since ancient days. In many countries 
the preparation and serving of tea is 
considered an art — Japanese women of 
good family sometimes receive up to 
3 years' instruction in the ceremony. 

During the conquest of Mexico in 
1519 Hernando Cortez found the 
Aztec emperor Montezuma drinking 
"chocolatl" from great golden bowls 
and carried the idea back to Spain. 
The Spanish added cane sugar to the 
drink and served it hot. 

Today in the United States con- 
sumption of these and other beverages 
is on the rise, except for milk which 
has served man as a food for thousands 
of years. 

A recent nationwide survey by U.S. 

Department of Agriculture food econ- 
omists indicates that more youths in 
the population, more snacking by 
people in general, and more money in 
the household budget resulted in a 15 
percent increase in the amount of the 
beverages consumed at home during 
the 10 years from 1955 to 1965. Ten 
cents of the 1965 household food dollar 
was used for beverages other than milk, 
while approximately 8 cents was spent 
for the various types of fresh fluid and 
processed milk. 

The trend has been away from milk 
as a beverage and toward more coffee, 
soft drinks, fruit ades, and punches. 
An average of 39 cups of milk (butter- 
milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, baby 
and diet formula) were consumed per 
household per week in 1965 compared 
to 46 cups in 1955. On the other hand, 
the number of cups of coffee increased 
from 38 to 48, soft drinks increased 
from 5 to 9 cups, while fruit ades and 
punches consumed rose from 1 to 13 
cups a week. Tea and juices remained 
about the same with an increase of 1 
cup for each. Away-from-home pur- 
chases added to these totals. 

The United States not only produces 
a plentiful supply of milk, but also an 
abundant supply of fruit. Juices in 
many pleasing flavors and colors are 
used as appetizers with meals, as 
pickups between meals, as ingredients 
for the party punchbowl, and in other 
beverages. Raw materials for coffee, 
tea, cocoa, and chocolate must be 

Beverages and beverage materials 
are marketed in many forms. Milk, for 
example, may be packaged as whole 
fresh milk in botdes or cartons, often 
homogenized, nearly always pasteur- 
ized. It may be sold in the fluid form 
as skimmed milk ; low-fat milk, with or 
without added nonfat solids; or as 
buttermilk — all of which require re- 
frigeration. Sterilized milk, evaporated 

Walter R. Moses is Chief, Food Case Branch, 
Bureau of Regulatory Compliance, Food and 
Drug Administration. 

Margaret F. Tennant is a Public Information 
Officer in the Information Division, Agricultural 
Research Service. 


Maryland student participates in taste test of 
grape juice. Before canned juice from grapes 
grown in different parts of the country was 
added to national school lunch menu for first 
time, USDA wanted to find out which of two 
types the children preferred. 

milk, and sweetened condensed milk 
are marketed in cans. Nonfat dry 
milk is sold in bags, cartons, or packets, 
does not need refrigeration, and under 
proper storage conditions keeps for 

Fruit juices are marketed as fluids 
in glass or cans; single strength or 
concentrated; pasteurized and refrig- 
erated; or sealed in containers and 
heat-processed to prevent spoilage. 
Juices are also sold frozen, either 
single strength or concentrated. 

Of the various juices, orange juice 
is marketed in the most diverse forms. 
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug 
Administration (FDA) has established 
standards of identity for the following 
forms: orange juice, frozen orange 
juice, pasteurized orange juice, canned 
orange juice, orange juice from con- 
centrate, frozen concentrated orange 


juice, and also canned concentrated 
orange juice. To any of these, sugar 
or certain other specified sweeteners 
may be added with appropriate label 

Each form of juice has its advantages 
and disadvantages. Most people prefer 
the flavor of fresh fruit juice. Such 
juice, however, contains enzymes and 
micro-organisms which quickly cause 
spoilage or lower the quality, even 
when the juice is kept chilled. Quality 
can be maintained by freezing, but the 
frozen single-strengthjuice is expensive 
to store and ship. It is inconvenient 
to handle, and few firms stock it. 

Spoilage may be delayed by pas- 
teurizing the juice. This process inac- 
tivates the enzymes and reduces the 
number of spoilage organisms but, 
unfortunately, it also changes the 
flavor. Pasteurized juice must be 
refrigerated. Most of the orange juice 
sold by grocery stores or distributed by 
dairies in glass or cartons has been 

Canned juice is sealed into contain- 
ers and processed by heat to kill the 
spoilage organisms so it will keep 
without refrigeration as long as the 
container remains sealed. The flavor 
of canned fruit juice is usually con- 
sidered less desirable than that of other 

The juice prepared from frozen 
concentrated orange juice is commonly 
rated next to fresh juice in flavor and 
other desirable characteristics. The 
frozen concentrate retains its quality 
indefinitely when stored at the proper 
temperature. It is cheaper to ship and 
less bulky to store than the single 
strength juice, yet keeps some of the 
taste of the single strength juice mixed 
into the concentrate before it is frozen. 

FDA has established standards for 
canned pineapple juice, tomato juice, 
and prune juice. However, no stand- 
ards have been set for other popular 
juices such as apple, grape, or grape- 
fruit. These nonstandardized juices are 
sometimes preserved with chemicals 
like sodium benzoate or sorbic acid. 
When used, such preservatives must be 
declared on the label. 

There are on the market many 
beverages and beverage bases made in 
part from fruit juices. Some contain 
significant quantities of fruit juice or 
pulp. /Those labeled as "juice-drinks" 
sometimes contain 30 percent or more 
juice. Nectars contain an even higher 
percentage of juice and pulp. Other 
beverages of this type contain litde 
fruit or juice and derive most of their 
flavor from added acids, natural or 
synthetic flavoring materials, and other 
additives. Still others, including some 
dried or frozen concentrates, contain 
no fruit ingredients, being made en- 
tirely from synthetic colors, flavors, and 
other nonfruit ingredients. 

Standards of identity for frozen 
concentrates for lemonade, colored 
lemonade, and artificially sweetened 
lemonade have been established by 
FDA. In May 1968 the agency pub- 
lished an order intended to do the 
same thing for certain nectars, ades, 
juice-drinks, cranberry juice cocktail, 
and other diluted fruit drinks. This 
order, which prescribed the minimum 
percentage of juice or pulp for each 
and required that the percentage be 
listed on the label, had to be stayed 
pending a requested public hearing. 

The nutrient value of carbonated 
beverages is mainly in sugar and 
calories. Artificially sweetened car- 
bonated drinks and drink bases are 
popular with persons on low calorie 
or sugar restricted diets. They pro- 
vide few nutrients and are valuable 
only as thirst quenchers. These drinks 
come in bottles (returnable or non- 
returnable) and in metal cans. Car- 
bonated beverages, other than those 
that are artificially sweetened, must 
comply with FDA standards. Action 
on proposed standards for artificially 
sweetened soda water was postponed 
pending public hearings upon FDA's 
special dietary food regulations. 

Because of the rapid rise in use of 
artificial sweeteners there has been 
concern about their safety. In 1955 
and again in 1965, the Food Protec- 
tion Committee of the National Acad- 
emy of Sciences — National Research 
Council (NAS/NRC) evaluated all 

available scientific evidence on the 
safety of the artificial sweeteners and 
published reports which gave no 
basis for restricting special dietary 
use of the sweeteners. 

In 1968, at the request of FDA, 
NAS/NRC reviewed recent research 
reports, and concluded that "totally 
unrestricted use of the cyclamates is 
not warranted at this time." In the 
Federal Register of April 5, 1969, 
FDA published a proposal to require 
labeling of foods containing cyclamates 
which would make it practical for 
consumers to limit their intake of 
cyclamates to recommended levels. 
The recommended maximum daily 
intake for adults is 3,500 milligrams — 
for children, 1,200 milligrams. 

It is estimated that close to a third 
of the world's population uses coffee 
in greater amounts than any other 

USDA coffee tester at work. He helps assure 
better quality coffee for schools, institutions, 
the military, and State and Federal agencies 
that use the testing service. 

beverage, with coffee drinkers in the 
United States consuming around 50 
percent of the supply. 

Coffee is imported as green beans 
which must be blended, roasted, and 
are usually ground before they reach 
the consumer. "Coffee testers" who 
spend many years in developing their 
senses of taste and smell (the only way 
coffee can be appraised) use actual 
cup tests rather than physical charac- 
teristics of the coffee bean as a basis 
for combining different varieties. They 
try to balance costs with acceptable 
quality, and many blends are avail- 
able at different prices. The only way 
to find the "right" one is to try 
different brands. 

The flavor depends also upon the 
degree of roasting which brings out 
the "coffee taste" and the aroma not 
apparent in the coffee bean. People 
have different preferences depending 
upon region and national origin. A 
dark roast is generally preferred in 
the South, a light roast along the 
Pacific coast, and medium roast else- 
where in the United States. Some 
people may even prefer the almost 
black roast common in Italy, Turkey, 
and the surrounding areas. 

Blends of coffee with chicory are 
popular in Louisiana and may be pur- 
chased elsewhere. 

The device used for brewing coffee 
governs the choice of grind to a large 
extent, but it should be remembered 
that a finer grind permits quicker ex- 
traction with less loss of desirable flavor 
and aroma. 

Instant coffees, first used by the U.S. 
armed forces in the field, now account 
for more than a fourth of the coffee 
prepared at home. They are available 
in a number of blends. Some are freeze- 
dried while others are prepared by 
various extraction, evaporation, and 
drying processes. 

For those who do not like the stim- 
ulating effect of caffein, green coffee 
is sometimes steamed and soaked using 
a chlorinated organic solvent. Con- 
sumer preference for the "decaffein- 
ated" coffee is for the instant or soluble 
type of product. 


About half the people of the world 
drink hot or cold tea. Consumption in 
the United States is said to average 
about three-fourths of a pound per 
year compared to 10 pounds for Great 
Britain and for Ireland, perhaps the 
world's greatest tea-drinking countries. 
Instant tea and tea bags are contrib- 
uting to the growing popularity of this 
beverage in the United States. 

Teas may be selected from three 
classes: Green (from leaves that have 
been withered, rolled, and fired im- 
mediately); black (leaves have been 
fermented or oxidized before firing) ; 
and oolong (from partially oxidized 
or fermented leaves). They are usually 
imported, blended, and packed for sale 
to consumers. Americans have pre- 
ferred black, whole leaf teas, particu- 
larly those labeled "pekoe" or "orange 
pekoe." These names designate the 
small first and second leaves next to 
the end of the tea shoots. Broken and 
cut leaves are utilized in tea bags. 

Instant teas are made principally 
from the black teas and are available 
as either "pure" instant teas or with 
malto-dextrin as a carrier. Consumers 
are sometimes confused because a tea- 
spoonful of the light, fluffy, pure form 
of instant tea contains the same amount 
of extracted tea solids as the heavier 

Like coffee and tea, chocolate bev- 
erages are made from imported raw 
materials — in this case dried cacao 
beans. The manufacturer cleans, 
blends, roasts, and removes the shells, 
leaving the meat or "nibs." These are 
crushed in a process which generates 
enough frictional heat to liquefy the 
cocoa butter (the nibs average 54 per- 
cent cocoa butter content) and form 
what is known by the industry as 
"chocolate liquor." 

That portion of the liquor used for 
cocoa is pumped into hydraulic presses 
to remove the desired amount of cocoa 
butter. This leaves a pressed cake 
that can be cooled, pulverized, and 
sifted into powder. 

Breakfast or high-fat cocoa contains 
at least 22 percent fat, medium-fat 
cocoa (sometimes labeled simply as 

"cocoa") contains 10 to 22 percent, 
while low-fat cocoa contains less than 
10 percent. 

Chocolate may be treated with 
alkali to prepare "Dutched" or Dutch- 
process cocoa. This makes a darker 
beverage which looks stronger but 
actually has a milder flavor. 

Chocolate and cocoa are often used 
to flavor milk or skimmed milk. When 
milk is made with chocolate, it may 
be labeled "chocolate milk." Milk or 
other dairy drinks made with cocoa 
should be labeled "chocolate flavored." 

Cocoa, because of its popular flavor, 
is often used in food items intended 
for special diets. Some of these items 
are used "as is" while others are in 
dry form to be added to milk or skim 

Careful reading of labels is essential 
if you are to choose wisely from the 
big supply of beverages and beverage 
materials. The Federal Food, Drug, 
and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and 
the more recent Fair Packaging and 
Labeling Act require accurate and 
informative labeling to help prospec- 
tive buyers compare and make wise 

The principal display panel or 
panels must bear a prominent declara- 
tion of the identity of the beverage. 
If the beverage is standardized, the 
name is the one prescribed by the 
standard such as "orange juice from 
concentrate" or "club soda." In the 
absence of a standard, the designation 
must be the common or usual name, 
modified when necessary to indicate 
the form of the beverage as, for 
example, "coffee — drip grind." Also, 
an accurate declaration of the con- 
tents in terms of weight, volume, or 
count must appear on the principal 
display panel, usually in the lower 30 
percent of the panel, printed in letters 
of prescribed height, and separated by 
specified distances from other printed 
information. Solids are normally de- 
clared by weight, liquids by volume. 
Some are declared by count and the 
volume or weight such as "100 tea 
bags — 8 ounces." 

Name and address of the manu- 

facturer, packer, or the shipper must 
appear prominently, modified, when 
necessary, by some statement such as 
"distributed by." Ingredients must be 
declared in descending order of pre- 
dominance unless the beverage is one 
where they are specified by a standard 
of identity. Standards prescribe which 
optional ingredients must be declared, 
if used. Always the label must state 
the presence of any artificial color- 
ing, artificial flavoring, or a chemical 

If intended for special dietary use, 
the beverage must be labeled with 
information about its vitamin and 
mineral content; percentages of fat, 
protein, and carbohydrates; the cal- 
ories it will provide ; or other informa- 
tion needed to guide the user. Names 
and percentages of artificial sweeteners 
must be stated. 

Additives are sometimes listed by 
long, formidable, technical names. 
Consumers may rest assured that the 
beverages containing these are safe. 
Since its passage in 1938, the FD&C 
Act has prohibited adding any sub- 
stance which would make the bever- 
ages injurious to health. The act was 
later amended to provide more positive 
protection by requiring pretesting of 
food additives and color additives in 
order to demonstrate that the proposed 
uses are safe. 

Other helpful information is some- 
times found on labels. They may bear 
directions for preparing, recipes, or 
information about the number and 
size of servings. Most milk and other 
dairy drinks are labeled "Grade A" 
to show that they have been produced 
under sanitary conditions and from 
raw materials which meet standards 
recommended by the U.S. Public 
Health Service and adopted by most 

U.S. "Grade A" or U.S. "Fancy" 
markings on other beverages or bever- 
age bases indicate that these meet 
the quality standards established by 

Factors considered in grading in- 
clude those affecting appearance, like 
depth and brightness of color, absence 


of flecks and excess sediment; and 
those affecting taste, like sweetness, 
acidity, the Brix/acid ratio (which 
measures the balance between sweet- 
ness and tartness), the amount of peel 
oil, and other characteristics. If a 
beverage has been packed under the 
voluntary inspection service provided 
by USDA, the label may bear the 
inspection shield showing that it was 
"Packed Under Continuous Inspec- 
tion" and the grade may also be 
shown in the USDA shield. 

Value comparisons are hard to 
make, not only because there are many 
beverages in different forms but also 
because individual taste preferences 
or dietary needs may outweigh price 
considerations. A coffee or tea that 
makes a distasteful brew is no bargain 
at any price. For dietary reasons some 
may choose skim milk or low-fat 
cocoa, while others need the nutrients 
in whole milk or chocolate. Prices of 
diluted juice drinks usually vary ac- 
cording to their juice content. Nutri- 
tive values do not necessarily vary 

The large "economy" size may cost 
less per pint, but offers no advantage 
if much of the product deteriorates 
before it can be used. 

Available storage facilities may 
dictate the form or the amount of a 
beverage to be purchased. Frozen 
products must be stored in the freezer 
compartment, which should be main- 

Shopping cart with cans of apple juice packed 
under continuous inspection by USDA, shown 
in Yakima, Wash. Note shields on cans. 

tained at between 0° (or below) and 
5° F. Milk, orange juice (other than 
canned or frozen), and opened con- 
tainers of other beverages should be 
kept in the refrigerator, preferably at 
a temperature no higher than 40° F. 

Chocolate should be kept cool to 
prevent melting and should not be 
subjected to wide swings of tempera- 
ture. Tea may be stored in any cool, 
dry place. 

Coffee is more difficult to keep. The 
oils and other constituents that provide 
its flavor and fragrance are easily 
dissipated or, if exposed to air, are 
quickly oxidized to substances yielding 
disagreeable odors and tastes. In con- 
trast, coffee is a rare treat when made 
from freshly roasted and ground beans 
in an atmosphere where the air is still 
full of the rich aroma released by 
roasting, grinding, and brewing. 

By the time most roasted and ground 
coffee reaches the consumer, even 
when protected in vacuum-packed 
containers, much of its aroma and 
flavor have been lost. Once the con- 
tainer is opened, the loss speeds up. 
It can be retarded but not stopped by 
keeping the coffee container tighdy 
closed and stored in a cool place. 
Coffee should be purchased in amounts 
small enough to be quickly used. 

We drink tea and coffee partly be- 
cause of the stimulating effect of the 
caffein they contain (cocoa or choco- 
late is mildly stimulating). If we want 
only this effect, it matters little how 
we prepare them. We might even 
enjoy the dark and bitter brew pre- 
pared by that champion tea-drinker, 
the Australian sheepman, by long 
boiling of the leaves in his blackened 
"billy-can" celebrated in the song 
"Waltzing Matilda." Most of us prefer 
to just sing about "Matilda" while 
drinking tea or coffee brewed in ways 
that do not drive off the constituents 
that provide pleasant aroma and taste. 

Much of the tea and coffee served 
in the United States could be im- 
proved if the water used were of 
better quality. Usually we take what- 
ever comes from the tap. Vendors of 
spring water no longer wander the 

streets shouting "Tea water! Come 
and get your tea water!" as they did 
in pre-Revolutionary New York. 

Coffee is brewed in pots, percolators, 
dripolators, or any of several vacuum- 
type devices. Scientific research under- 
taken by the Coffee Brewing Institute 
since its formation in 1951 has shown 
that to make good coffee you should: 

Start with utensils that have been 
thoroughly cleaned. 

Use freshly drawn water. 

Use the finest grind suited to your 
coffeemaking device. 

Use plenty of coffee; the standard 
proportion of 2 level tablespoons per 
cup may be increased, if so desired. 
More coffee with less brewing time 
usually gives better flavor. 

When you use a percolator, keep 
the heat adjusted to barely percolate. 
Percolate no longer than 5 to 10 

Keep coffee hot over low heat to 
avoid boiling and loss of flavor. 

After the Mardi Gras balls in New 
Orleans, it is traditional for partici- 
pants to go to the Old French Market 
to enjoy "cafe-au-lait," made by 
mixing equal portions of hot milk and 
strong coffee. 

During the gay days of the Old Em- 
pire, the Viennese invented ways to 
serve whipped cream with coffee. 
Coffee with whipped cream is still 
called "Vienna coffee." 

To make good tea : 

• Add water to the tea as soon as it 
comes to a bubbling boil; do not let 
water boil since this drives out dis- 
solved air which helps give tea its 
"bite." * 

• Prewarm the pot, which preferably 
should be of ceramic material. 

• If using tea leaves, weigh out about 
one-third ounce per pint or measure 1 
rounded teaspoon per cup. Use tea 
bags according to directions. 

• Allow the tea to "draw" for 3 to 4 
minutes unless milk or cream is to be 
added, in which case it may draw for 
4, 5, or even 6 minutes. 

• Separate the brew from the leaves, 
and keep it hot until served. 

Sugar, lemon, cream, or milk may 
be added. Cream or milk mellows the 
taste, and casein in the milk causes 
the tannin which is in the tea to 
become insoluble. 

For iced tea, brew 5 to 6 minutes 
and add extra tea (4 tablespoons tea 
to 3 cups boiling water). 

Hot chocolate or cocoa can be made 
from these recipes: 


6 servings 

2 squares unsweetened chocolate 
1 cup hot water 

}i cup sugar 
Dash of salt 

3 cups milk 

Melt the chocolate in water in top 
of double boiler directly over low heat. 
Add sugar and salt; simmer 4 minutes 
with constant stirring. Place over hot 
water. Stir in milk. Heat to serving 
temperature and beat with rotary 


6 servings 
}i cup cocoa 

4 to 6 tablespoons sugar 
}i teaspoon salt 

% cup water 
3% cups milk 

Mix cocoa, sugar and salt, pour in 
water, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in 
milk and heat to boiling, but do not 
boil. Beat with rotary beater to pre- 
vent scum formation. 

Juices usually require no prepara- 
tion other than chilling. If ice is 
added, do not overdilute. Since sugar 
is hard to dissolve in cold liquids, 
sugar sirup is preferable if juices are 
to be sweetened. Sirup drained from 
canned fruits may be used for this 
purpose. This saves money and may 
add flavor. 

Cookbooks contain pages of recipes 
for punches, varying from a simple 
mixture of 2 pints ginger ale and 1 
pint of grapejuice, to some involving 
many ingredients and complex mixing 
instructions. Punchmaking offers am- 
ple room for study and imaginative 


Edward R. Thompson 

The Pedigreed 
Pickle Is Here: 
New Quality in 
Old Favorites 

Pickles, relishes, olives, and kraut are 
good by themselves, but more im- 
portantly they make other foods taste 
better. They can add sparkle and zest 
to a sandwich, a salad, a banquet, a 
beverage. They can provide a change 
in the texture and flavor of many foods. 

America has always had a fondness 
for pickles and relishes. "On a hot day, 
in Virginia," wrote Thomas Jefferson, 
"I know of nothing more comforting 
than a fine spiced pickle, brought up 
trout-like from the sparkling depths of 
that aromatic jar below stairs in Aunt 
Sally's cellar." 

Pickling — to keep food longer — is of 
ancient lineage, along with sun-drying, 
salting, and smoking. Pickling is still 
with us in many improved forms to 
provide a lengthy list of delicacies. 

Perhaps it all started centuries ago 
when a naturally bitter olive fell into 
a briny lagoon and was found to be 
edible, tasty, and nourishing. Be that 
as it may, the art of pickling can be 
traced through thousands of years of 
recorded history. 

Famous people of all eras have ex- 
pressed a fondness for pickles. Cleo- 
patra, we are told, found them a royal 
treat for flavor and zest; and believed 


they contributed to health and beauty. 
Pliny's writings mention spiced and 
preserved cucumbers. Napoleon es- 
teemed pickles as a health-giving food. 

Queen Elizabeth I was among the 
multitude of pickle fanciers. The list 
continues on to include George Wash- 
ington, John Adams, and Dolley 

In America, the pickle patch was an 
important adjunct to good living on 
colonial plantations. And pickles were 
highly regarded by all the pioneering 
generations because, under frontier 
conditions, pickles were the only zest- 
ful, juicy, green, succulent food avail- 
able for many months of the year. In 
colonial days, and much later on the 
farm and in the villages, homemakers 
expected to "put down" some pickles 
in stone crocks — and to "put up" 
pickles and pickle relishes in glass 
jars. It remained for the commercial 
pickle packers, however, to utilize the 
discoveries of scientific research in 
developing the most perfect pickles 
ever produced. 

Pickles are a product of natural 
fermentation — either of the vegetable 
or food ingredients or of the liquid 
surrounding them. This fermentation 
process, carefully controlled by the 
amount of salt used, the temperature, 
herbs, spices, and other factors, de- 
velops the flavor, color, aroma, and 
texture desired for the particular kind 
of pickles. 

Manufacture of pickles has moved 
with modern science from the small 
plant where mistakes were often made, 
quality was uncertain, and losses heavy ; 
to the larger, well-equipped, sanitary 
food plants where all the processes are 
controlled and a myriad of pickles, 
relishes, and similar products are pre- 
pared and attractively packaged for 
your use. 

A modern pickle packer uses vari- 
eties of cucumbers far superior to 
those used previously for pickling, yet 

Edward R. Thompson is Assistant Head, 
Standardization Section, Processed Products Stand- 
ardization and Inspection Branch, Fruit and 
Vegetable Division, Consumer and Marketing 

manufacturers strive constantly to im- 
prove the strains. Soil, rainfall, and 
location all have a decisive effect on 
development of just the right kind of 
tender, flavorful cucumber for pickling. 
Agriculturalists and scientists have 
supplied growers with improved vari- 
eties and advised farmers as to the 
best methods of planting and culti- 
vating in order to produce firmer, 
meatier cucumbers. 

Cucumbers are picked at a time 
when most of them are of the sizes 
particularly wanted by the packer. 
The bulk of this work has been done 
by hand. In the larger "pickle patches" 
of today, a strong trend is toward 
mechanically harvesting the cucum- 
bers very quickly and at the peak of 
their quality. 

Since most pickles are cucumber 
pickles or contain cucumber pickles 
in a mixture, let's talk mostly about 
them. Because of the way they are 
made they are called either "cured 
pickles" or "fresh pack pickles." Each 
has its own characteristics of flavor 
and texture. 

• Cured pickles - have been slighdy fer- 
mented in a salt brine for several 
months. They are then de-salted and 
washed. The pickling process is com- 
pleted in a vinegar solution, also a 
fermentation product, and seasoned 
to give the flavor characteristics de- 
sired. The curing process imparts 
subtle flavor changes and produces 
edible acids in the pickles themselves. 
They are usually crisp, dark green, and 
somewhat translucent. 

• Fresh-pack pickles are relatively new 
in the market. In this process the 
cucumbers are packed directly into the 
containers, and covered with a pickling 
solution containing vinegars, other 
acids, flavorings, and other suitable 
ingredients to give the desired char- 
acteristics to the pickles. The con- 
tainers are then sealed and pasteurized 
with heat to preserve them. Fresh-pack 
pickles have not been fermented and 
retain something of the flavor of 
fresh cucumbers. They are usually a 
light yellow-green color and are not 

usually as salty or as acid as the cured 
type. "Fresh-pack" is often shown on 
the label. 

In modern day pickling, cucumbers 
to be cured are hauled to salting 
stations close to the growing regions. 
The newly harvested cucumbers go 
there for a thorough cleansing and 
careful sorting for defects and sizes. 
Speed is essential while the cucumbers 
are at their peak of perfection, and it 
is provided by very efficient, modern 

For cured pickles, the selected 
cucumbers are put in a salt water bath 
in vats, where controlled fermentation 
takes place. The salt is added gradu- 
ally, according to an exact formula, 
and it penetrates the pickles slowly, 
evenly, and thoroughly. 

After weeks and even months of 
such curing, the cucumbers are called 
"brine stock." The brine stock may 
then be removed from the salting 
station to the finishing plant, accord- 
ing to the plant's schedule. Cucumbers 
for fresh pack are hauled directly to 
the packing plant since they must be 
processed within a few hours. 

The kinds of pickles you can buy are 
almost as infinite as the kinds of cook- 
ing that exist. You may sometimes be 
confused by the number of different 
styles, colors, and shapes that fill the 
shelves. However, all cucumber pick- 
les are related to one or another of an 
easily-remembered handful of basic 
kinds. Here are some typical varia- 
tions. If you keep these in mind, you 
can easily find your way around the 
pickle department of your favorite 
food store and get just the kind you 

Dill Pickles. Dill pickles are flavored 
primarily with dill, an aromatic herb, 
which may be supplemented by vari- 
ous mixed spices. They come in three 
variations. Genuine dill pickles are 
prepared entirely by a lengthy process 
of natural fermentation with the 
various herbs. Processed dill pickles 
are started as regular brine stock, and 
finished later in a dill solution; they 
possess somewhat better keeping 


qualities than the genuine dill pickles. 
Between these sometimes you may 
find an "overnight dill" pickle. This 
is a quickly fermented variation of 
the genuine dill pickles produced by 
stopping the fermentation after only a 
day or two through placing the pickles 
in cold storage. These pickles retain 
some of the flavor of the fresh cucum- 
ber, along with the dill flavor. Like 
the genuine dills, they are commonly 
sold in bulk. 

The label may indicate that many 
of these dills are "kosher" or "kosher- 
style" pickles. The term "kosher" has 
religious significance in accord with 
Hebrew law. However, in the United 
States it also has come to mean that 
these pickles are more highly spiced, 
including onion and garlic flavors. 
Most dill pickles are large or medium 
in size. They may have been cut into 
strips, slices, cubes, or in any manner. 

Sour Pickles are brine stock pickles 
which have been finished in vinegar 
with spices. While normally packed 
whole, they may be cut in strips, slices, 
or in any manner. There are a number 
of different styles such as sour mixed 

pickles — produced by combining sour 
cucumber pickles with the other sour 
pickled vegetables such as cauliflower, 
onions, peppers, all cut into small 
convenient pieces. Sour relish or 
piccalilli includes finely chopped sour 
pickles, sometimes packed alone and 
sometimes with other finely chopped 
sour cured vegetables. Chow chow is 
similar to sour mixed pickles except 
for the addition of a mustard sauce 
flavored with spices such as yellow 
and brown mustard seed, turmeric, 
garlic, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nut- 
meg, cayenne and black and white 

Sweet Pickles start as sour pickles 
from which the vinegar has been 
drained. They are finished in sweet, 
spicy liquors which are added from 
time to time until the desired degree 
of sweetness is attained. A lengthy 
aging process follows. Sweet pickles 
are available in many variations such 
as the following: sliced sweet pickles, 
chips or wafers — plain sweet pickles 
cut crosswise into discs; candied chips — 
extra sweet, sliced sweet pickles; sweet 
dill pickles — made from genuine or 

Picnic bean dishes: Dill pickles help season the cold salad of green beans, while sweet pickle relish 
spices the made-in-minutes baked beans. 

processed dill pickles instead of sour 
pickles and frequently cut lengthwise 
as well as crosswise; mixed sweet 
pickles — sweet pickles combined with 
other sweet pickled vegetables, such 
as cauliflower, onions, sweet pepper, 
and green tomatoes; sweet relish or 
piccalilli — finely chopped sweet pickles 
sometimes combined with other finely 
chopped sweet pickled vegetables. 

Some of the pickles that are classified 
as cured type are also available in the 
fresh type pack. 

Among them are fresh-packed dill 
pickles, fresh-packed sweet pickles and 
mild sweet pickles, fresh-packed sweet 
relish and mild sweet relish, fresh- 
packed sweetened dill pickles, and 
fresh-packed sweetened dill relish. 

Pickles belong to a larger family of 
foods with many of the same character- 
istics and which add interest and zest 
to your meals. Many other fruits and 
vegetables are pickled commercially 
or by homemakers. Some you may 
find on the store shelf are : peach, pear, 
crabapple, watermelon rind, beet, 
onion, okra, peppers, tomatoes — ripe 
or green, and green beans. 

You may also find a variety of 
relishes you might remember from 
childhood — or perhaps never have 
heard of, such as: pepper-onion, tomato 
apple-chutney, tomato-pear chutney, 
horseradish, and corn relish. 

Sauerkraut belongs in this large 
family of foods, too. Good sauerkraut — 
brined, fermented cabbage — has a 
pleasant, characteristic, tart, and tangy 
flavor. It is crisp and firm in texture, 
creamy white in color, and free from 
specks and core material. It is used 
hot in many ways, for instance as a 
main dish with meat, or in most of the 
ways pickles are used — cold as a side 
dish, in sandwiches, on a salad plate, 
or in a mixed pickle and relish platter. 

Cured olives also belong in this 
family since they are used in much the 
same manner. Serve them the way you 
would cucumber pickles — whole or 
chopped, sliced or stuffed. 

As with many of the other foods you 
buy, pickles and relishes are packed 
quite often according to U.S. grades. 

These grades with their definitions of 
styles, forms, and kinds help manu- 
facturers to properly make and accu- 
rately label the products they offer for 
sale. U.S. grades also help the store 
buyers to buy what they know you 
want. Some of these foods have on 
their labels an indication of their 
grade — such as U.S. Grade A or U.S. 
Grade B. These marks show that the 
food has been packed according to 
the official U.S. standards and meets 
requirements of the grade. If the label 
shows by an official USDA mark that 
the product has been packed under 
the continuous inspection of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, you will 
know it was packed in a good com- 
merical plant, in a sanitary manner. 

When you make your selection in 
the store: 

• First look at the whole pickle display 
including the product as seen through 
the glass container. You can usually 
tell whether the cucumbers are whole, 
sliced crosswise, sliced lengthwise, un- 
evenly cut, or finely cut as in a relish. 
You can also choose the size you want. 
Cucumber pickles come in seven regu- 
lar sizes from the midget to the extra 
large. You can often examine the jars 
of mixed pickles and relishes to see 
what ingredients are used and in what 

• Read the labels; they give much use- 
ful information. For one thing, labels 
may suggest kinds and styles you have 
never heard of. Information on the 
label that can help in your selection 
includes: the kind of pickles — sweet, 
sour, or dill, the size or number in 
the container, whether they are the 
cured or fresh type, and the amount 
of product in the container. 

• Note the prices asked; they vary 
considerably from item to item and 
brand to brand. This is often because 
some types are much more costly to 
make. Small whole cucumbers, long 
processes, and more costly spices and 
other ingredients are reasons for higher 
priced items. They may well be worth 
the higher price for some purposes. 
Small whole cucumber pickles would 


not be a good buy, however, if you 
intend to slice them into a salad or 
a sandwich. 

• Buy different kinds to add variety 
to your meals and to learn what your 
family really likes. 

Most everyone knows what pickles 
and relishes can add to our meals — 
from sandwich to meat loaf to holiday 
dinner. Perhaps we don't know every- 
thing they can do. Here are some ways 
you can use pickles and relishes : 

In the lunchbox alone or in the 
sandwich mix. 

A sprinkle of chopped pickle or 
relish in almost any soup. 

Diced in stuffings, meat loaves or 
meat dishes, fish, salads, creamed or 
buttered vegetables. 

Diced pickles, olives, or relishes in 
scrambled eggs. 

Pickles or their liquids in sauces for 
meats, fish, fowl, egg dishes. 

The liquid from pickles in almost 
any dressing or to baste the meat. 

Wherever a bit of spice or herb 
flavor is needed. 

You can keep pickles and relishes 
unopened for several months. After 
opening, store them in the refrigerator. 
Natural acids in the food and the 
surrounding liquor tend to inhibit the 
growth of molds and bacteria. 

Pickles and relishes will not keep 
for an indefinite period, however. Dis- 
card any open jar if the product is 
very discolored, if it has an offensive 
odor, if gas bubbles appear, or if the 
product displays any unusual softness, 
mushiness, or slipperiness. 

Here are a few pickle recipes. 


8 servings 

% cup butter or margarine 

8 frankfurters 

V/2 cups catsup 

Y% cup water 

2 teaspoons (or to taste) chili powder 

% cup chopped dill pickles 

2 medium-size onions, chopped 

8 frankfurter rolls 

Melt fat. Add frankfurters; cook 

over medium heat until browned on 
all sides. Combine catsup, water, chili 
powder, pickles, and onions; mix well. 
Add to frankfurters. Cook over low 
heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. 
Serve frankfurters on rolls. 


These are simply the largest dill 
pickles you can find, with ice cream 
sticks inserted for easy handling and 
eating. Serve them nestled in a big 
bucket of ice. Just for fun you can 
paint the sticks with ordinary vege- 
table coloring. Instead of ice cream 
sticks, you can use plastic picnic 
butter spreaders as handles. Children 
love picklesicles ! 


Cut large dill pickles in half length- 
wise. Cut two pieces salami and one 
piece process Swiss cheese to size of 
pickle. Place slice of cheese between 
slices of salami and insert in pickles, 
sandwich fashion. Chill. 


6 servings 

% teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

}i cup cottage cheese 

% cup (about 2 each, 2 by % inches) 

chopped sweet gherkins 
}i teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves 
6 celery stalks, cut in 8-inch pieces 

Combine Worcestershire sauce, cot- 
tage cheese, gherkins, salt, and celery 
leaves; mix well. Spread cheese mix- 
ture on celery stalks. Calories per 
serving: about 29. 


Mix together }i cup chopped sweet 
mixed pickles and % cup chopped 
apple. Stuff 8 large mushroom caps 
with mixture. Calories per serving: 
about 23. 

For further reading: 

Pickle Packers International, Inc., 
108U East Main Street, St. Charles, 111. 
60174. Various consumer and recipe bulletins. 


Helen Carlisle 
Richard L. Hall 

Be an Artful 
With Spices 
and Herbs 

Spices and herbs have added flavoring 
to food since the dawn of civilization. 
They are a part of our history — Marco 
Polo and Columbus sought them. 
They are a part of our literature — 
Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Lewis 
Carroll mentioned them. And, of 
course, they are an important part of 
our food. Spices give their distinctive 
character to spaghetti and chili, to 
goulash and pumpkin pie, and to a 
variety of other everyday and exotic 

We often use the word "spice" in a 
very broad sense. We speak of the 
"spice shelf," or of "spice cookery." 
Here we mean any aromatic fresh or 
dried plant material added to food 
primarily for its flavor. But when we 
speak of "spices and herbs," we use 
the term in a much more limited sense. 

Strictly speaking, spices are aro- 
matic natural products which are 
the dried seeds, buds, fruit, flower 
parts, bark or roots of plants, usually 
of a tropical origin. 

Examples include pepper (dried 
berry) ; cloves (dried, unopened flower 
buds); cinnamon (bark); and ginger 
(a rhizome or roodike stem). 

Herbs are the aromatic leaves and 
sometimes the flowers of plants, usually 
of temperate zone origin. Examples 
include "parsley, sage, rosemary, and 
thyme," to quote from a quite recent 
popular song. 

A seed is the aromatic, dried, small, 
whole fruits or seeds of plants, usually 
of temperate origin. Examples are 
anise, caraway, and sesame. 

Most of these products are available 
in whole and ground forms in cans 
and bottles. Or you can have the fun 
and benefit of growing many of the 
temperate zone herbs and seeds in 
your own garden, although their flavor 
quality may be unpredictable. 

Spices, herbs, and seeds owe their 
flavor to two classes of substances 
found in them. 

One class contains certain aromatic 
substances, called "essential oils," 
which are responsible for the aroma 
and much of the flavor. Because these 
oils evaporate readily, they are quickly 
lost from ground spice unless the spice 
is kept cool and in a tighdy closed 
container. The whole spice contains 
these oils still trapped in undamaged 
cells, and it retains its flavor much 

A number of spices, including black 
pepper, red pepper, and ginger, con- 
tain the other class of substances 
which cause pungency or "bite," 
bitterness, astringency, and other fla- 
vor sensations. While most of these 
latter components are not lost with 
age, the evaporation of the essential 
oils — due to age or to poor storage con- 
ditions — changes the flavor and robs 
the spice of much of its original value. 

At times spices may become infested 
by so-called "stored grain" insects 
such as the insects that attack flour and 
cornmeal. Members of the red pepper 
family and some of the dehydrated 
vegetables are particularly prone to 

The consumer who is interested in 
maintaining maximum quality on her 

Helen Carlisle is Home Economics Director 
and Richard L. Hall is Vice President-Research 
and Development with McCormick & Company, 
Inc., Baltimore, Md. 


FancvTea Bread, above, is spiced with cardamom, crushed saffron, and mace, and the bread is 
glazed and sprinkled with decors. Chicken Breast Gourmet, below, is spiced with poultry seasoning 
and other seasoning, crushed coriander seed, black pepper, whole cloves, and whole allspice. 


spice shelf should observe the follow- 
ing points : 

• The container — A tightly closed, 
screw-cap glass jar is best. Cans and 
cartons are inexpensive and convenient 
but cannot be sealed or resealed. 
Apothecary jars will keep the romance 
but not the flavor. 

• The location — A cool, dry location 
away from bright light or sunlight is 
best. Enemies of flavor quality are 
heat, moisture, air, and light, in that 
order. You need not refrigerate spices, 
but the spot often picked for conven- 
ience — over the range — is the worst. 

Under average conditions, one 
should expect to be able to keep whole 
spices for several years — almost in- 
definitely. Whole leaf herbs are some- 
what less durable, and will lose their 
freshness in a year or two; color often 
fades sooner. Ground spices are seldom 
at their best after a year. Members of 
the red pepper family, red and chili 
pepper, paprika, and bell pepper flakes 
lose quality in 6 months. In warm, 
moist climates, as in the Gulf States, 
deterioration is much more rapid. 
Tighdy closed containers in humid 
climates are always a great help. 

Good seasoning is an art, but easy 
and fun to learn. The best flavor is 
one so smooth and well blended that 
individual flavor notes are hard to 
pick out or define. We have all heard 
some appreciative guest say, "My, this 
is good. What is in it?" We can be cer- 
tain that if the flavor were so strong or 
simple that he could tell what was in 
it, he would not have liked it as well. 

There are no hard-and-fast rules for 
the use of spices. Two general hints: 

• Experiment; be adventurous. 

• Underseason, rather than overseason. 

Beyond this, it is possible to list 
certain general groups of spices which 
possess flavors that lend themselves 
especially well to certain foods. Such 
a list suggests some likely uses, but 
every spice can be used much more 
broadly. Desirability of each use is a 
matter of personal preference. 

"Sweet" spices include allspice, 
cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cori- 
ander, ginger, nutmeg, and mace. 
Poppy and sesame seeds are in this 
group. Sweet spices go very well 
with pastries, fruit dishes, nuts, and 
ham. Of course, they can be used with 
good effect with many other foods 
besides these. 

Another group might be called 
"protein spices," since they are often 
used with meat, fowl, fish, egg, and 
bean dishes. This group includes red 
pepper, celery, chili powder, curry 
powder, marjoram, monosodium glu- 
tamate or MSG (which is not really 
a spice but a flavor enhancer), sage, 
mustard, poultry seasoning, thyme, 
and rosemary. 

"Salad herbs" go especially well in 
salads and vegetable dishes. Basil, 
caraway, celery, parsley, and tarragon 
are in this group. 

A number of" seeds are frequently 
used in baking breads and crackers. 
Caraway, poppy, and sesame seeds 
are the most popular. 

Finally, several spices, herbs, and 
seeds are useful in so many ways that 
they belong to several groups. Among 
them are dehydrated onion and garlic, 
oregano, mace, marjoram, paprika, 
and, of course, black pepper. 

The recipes which follow illustrate 
how spices may be used to lend variety 
to food that would be rather common- 
place without them. 


4 servings 


}{ cup packed brown sugar 

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch 

I teaspoon lemon bits 

I I teaspoon allspice 
}i teaspoon mace 

% teaspoon fennel seed, crushed 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 
J4 cup water 


2 bananas, cut in 2-inch pieces 
2 peach halves 

2 pear halves 

2 slices pineapple, cut in halves 

8 orange sections 

12 Bing cherries 


Combine ingredients for sauce. 

Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes 
or until thickened. 

Arrange fruits in a shallow pan. 

Spread a part of the sauce over the 

Broil around 5 minutes; turn fruit 
and spread with remaining sauce. Broil 
5 minutes. 

Serve it with ham, turkey, chicken, 
tyr pork. 


About 1}i cups 

1 cup packed brown sugar 

}i cup dry mustard 

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch 

Y* teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon beef flavor base 
Vi cup hot water 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 
2 eggs, beaten 

Combine sugar, mustard, arrowroot, 
and salt. 

Dissolve beef flavor base in hot water . 
Add to sugar mixture along with lemon 
juice. Mix well. 

Stir in beaten eggs and cook over 
low heat or in double boiler, stirring, 
10 minutes or until sauce thickens. 

Serve it with ham, fried shrimp, or 
roast beef. 


6 servings 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine 

Dash cloves 

}i teaspoon cinnamon 

Yi teaspoon cardamom 

)i teaspoon allspice 

}i teaspoon saffron 

% teaspoon black pepper 

2 teaspoons garlic salt 

2 tablespoons instant minced onion 
1 cup long-grain rice 

3 cups boiling water 
Yi cup raisins 

H cup toasted, slivered almonds 

Melt butter or margarine in large 

saucepan. Add cloves, cinnamon, car- 
damom, allspice, saffron, pepper, gar- 
lic salt, onion, and rice; mix well. 

Stir in boiling water; cover and 
simmer 25 minutes. 

Add raisins and let stand, covered, 
5 minutes. 

Sprinkle the almonds over the top 
before serving. 


6 servings 

2 pounds round steak, cut in %• by Y%- by 

2-inch strips 
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
% teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon instant minced garlic 

2 tablespoons instant minced onion 
1% teaspoons caraway seed 

2 teaspoons dill seed 

l}i cups water 

Cooked noodles or rice, as desired 

1 cup dairy sour cream 

Brown the steak strips in butter or 

Add salt, garlic, onion, caraway 
seed, dill seed, and water. 

Simmer for 1 hour or until meat is 
tender, stirring occasionally. 

Serve over noodles or rice and top 
with sour cream. 

For further reading: 

American Spice Trade Association, The 
Magic of Spices. American Spice Trade Asso- 
ciation, New York, 1964. 

Claiborne, Craig, The New York Times 
Menu Cook Book. Harper & Row, Publishers, 
Inc., New York, 1966. 

Collins, Mary, The McCormick Spices of 
the World Cookbook. McGraw-Hill Book Co., 
New York, 1964. 

MacMillan, H. F., Tropical Planting and 
Gardening. MacMillan & Co., Ltd., London, 

Muenscher and Rice, Garden Spices and 
Wild Potherbs. Comstock Publishing Co., 
Ithaca, N.Y., 1955. 

Ochse, J. J., and Others, Tropical and 
Subtropical Agriculture. The MacMillan Co., 
New York, 1961. 

Parry, John W., The Story of Spices. Chem- 
ical Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1953. 



Thelma J. McMillan 

Your Basic 
Food Needs: 
Nutrients for 
Life, Growth 

Think for a moment of the microscopic 
speck of substance you were "The day 
you started life as a single cell. What 
you are today reflects many things — 
how sound were your inherited instruc- 
tions on how to build and operate a 
human body, what has been your life 
program of rest and exercise, how 
good have been your medical care 
and community and personal sanita- 
tion practices, and what emotional and 
intellectual stimulation the environ- 
ment has provided. But these influ- 
ences alone could not have changed 
you from that single cell. 

Continually through the years the 
inherited instructions present in that 
first cell have been followed to re- 
arrange food substance into the living 
tissue which is you. The process never 
stops, even if you are no longer in- 
creasing in size. Such an intricate 
system is possible only by constant 
exchange of substance composing the 
cells. In this exchange, there is always 
some leakage, with destruction and loss 
from the body and necessary replace- 
ment from food. Bone, fat, muscle, 
organs, blood — all participate in this 
constant change of material. You may 
be an exact duplicate of what you 


were a year ago, but you are to a very 
large extent of new substance. 

The tools to carry through the body 
reactions have come from food. Some, 
such as the vitamins, come direcdy; 
but others, such as the hormones, must 
be made in the tissues from food 

Fuel to drive the reactions comes 
from food. A person is aware of the 
energy it takes to climb stairs, and he 
may recognize that energy is always 
being used by the heart and the dia- 
phragm muscles. In addition to such 
muscular activity requiring energy, a 
myriad of invisible chores must be 
done — moving substances through cell 
membranes, joining molecules to 
form tissues, collecting waste material 
to be excreted — to mention only a few. 

We are, in a very real sense, what 
we eat. The common stuff of life in 
the cells of animals and plants are the 
nutrients. Group names for the nutri- 
ents are carbohydrates (starches and 
sugars), proteins (amino acids), fats, 
vitamins, minerals, and water. All but 
the last two exist because the plant has 
formed them from carbon dioxide of 
the air, salts of nitrogen and minerals 
from the soil, and water, with the use 
of the energy of sunlight. Animals live 
on the plants, either first or second 
hand. The job of a person's digestive 
system is to break up plant and animal 
material into the common nutrients. 
This includes splitting big carbohy- 
drate molecules to simple sugars and 
splitting big protein molecules to their 
constituent amino acids. The body 
absorbs these common substances and 
uses them to form and operate its own 

No one food gives us the nutrients 
in the amounts we need. It is true 
that the amino acid assortment in 
beefsteak matches that in your muscle, 
but what about the mineral for your 
bones? The animal bone lies on the 
dinner plate. The minerals it contains 
will have to be supplied to your system 

Thelma J. McMillan is Professor of Food and 
Nutrition, College of Home Economics, at Iowa 
State University, Ames. 

by other foods, primarily milk. Neither 
meat nor milk do much to satisfy 
your needs for vitamin C — fruits and 
vegetables do. Many other examples 
can be given. Ultimately, we find a 
mixture of plant and animal products 
proves most successful and pleasant 
in providing enough of each of the 
nutrients for our tissues. 

The living system is an outstanding 
example of cooperation and inter- 
dependence. Each nutrient may have 
its special part to play, but it has no 
independence. A change at any point 
in the total integrated system can 
bring change and adjustment through- 
out the system. No sharp dividing line 
exists between structure and function 
of the body, nor even body substance 
and the fuel supply. Perhaps no ac- 
complishment of the body illustrates as 
well the multiple and interdependent 
action as does the resistance to infec- 
tion, in which many nutrients are 
involved in different ways. This unity 
and interdependence should be borne 
in mind as we consider the contribu- 
tion of various nutrients. 

A man who weighs around 160 
pounds may be made up of about 100 
pounds of water, 29 pounds of protein, 
25 pounds of fat, 5 pounds of minerals, 
one pound of carbohydrate, and one- 
quarter ounce of vitamins. 

Only the vitamins, in their minute 
amounts, seem to play no part as 
structural components of the body. 
Most of the mineral material is cal- 
cium and phosphorus, found deposited 
in the protein framework of bone and 
tooth cells to create a hard tissue able 
to bear weight and pressure. Carbo- 
hydrate is a component of nerve fibers. 

Fat has been identified as a struc- 
tural component of every cell wall 
and every membrane within a cell. 
Perhaps the most startling observation 
is that about half the dry weight of the 
brain is fat. In other parts of the body, 
certain cells are adapted to hold large 
amounts of fat, and the fatty tissue 
which they form helps to round the 
contours of the body, to cushion and 
support body organs, and to insulate 
the body. 

Although we cannot look upon the 
carbohydrate and fat as sources of 
fuel only, most of the body content of 
each is present for that purpose. 

The main structural units of the 
body are the many different protein 
molecules that the body makes from 
the amino acids it has obtained from 
the proteins of food. There are 20 
amino acids, and a specific protein 
will contain most or all of these 20 in 
certain proportions and arranged in 
a certain sequence. We can learn to 
choose our food so that enough of 
each amino acid is readily available, 
but we have to depend on our heredity 
to know how to arrange them properly 
into the proteins characteristic of the 
different tissues of the body. 

Vitamins and most of the minerals 
find their use as tools for carrying 
through the body's reactions. Usually, 
the vitamin will be combined in the 
cell with a specific protein to form an 
enzyme. The enzyme has the shape 
and chemical properties to bring about 
changes in various nutrients and body 
products. For instance, in the daily 
activities of the cell, amino acids must 
be joined to form proteins, proteins 
must be joined to form cell structures, 
food fat must be modified to one's 
own tissue fat, energy of the food must 
be made available. The body has a 
tremendous number of enzymes to use 
for all these specific reactions just by 
changing the proteins combined with 
the various vitamins. Minerals also 
play a part in some of these enzyme 

In a few cases, vitamins and min- 
erals are parts of some highly special- 
ized substances other than enzymes. 
Examples include: Vitamin A is part 
of pigments in the eye which are used 
in vision; iron is part of the hemo- 
globin molecule that carries oxygen to 
the cells; and iodine is a part of the 
hormone thyroxine. 

The only fuels our systems can use 
are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 
If you made a bonfire of dry food, you 
could see part of the energy released 
as light and feel part of it as heat. 
When the carbohydrates, fats, and 


proteins are oxidized in our bodies, 
energy contained in their molecules is 
caught up in the formation of other 
molecules, ones which will be involved 
in muscle contraction, for instance. 
Eventually, much of the energy of the 
food does escape as heat, something 
we are aware of when we exercise 
heavily. Carbohydrates and proteins 
each provide us with 4 calories per 
gram of the nutrient in the food, and 
fats provide 9 calories per gram. (Both 
the gram and the calorie are units of 
measure. The gram is a weight unit 
equal to one twenty-eighth of an 
ounce ; the calorie is a unit of measure 
of energy.) 

A mixture of these three fuels is 
used throughout the day by body cells. 
We are choosing to eat in such a way 
in the United States that about 10 to 
12 percent of the fuel is supplied by 
protein, about 44 percent by fat, and 
about 46 percent by carbohydrate. 
This means that if a man is spending 
2,500 calories per day, he must take 
in about 480 grams, or a bit over a 
pound, of fuel. This is not the weight 
of food which would contain the 
nutrients; it is the weight of the dry 
nutrients alone. So man cannot look 
forward to condensing his fuel supply 
for the day into a handful of easily 
swallowed capsules. 

Water occupies a unique position in 
the health of the body. It is a solvent 
for most molecules and permits them 
to interact more readily. In addition, 
water makes possible the movement of 
materials into the body, out to all of 
the cells, and then away to eventual 

Water takes priority over all other 
nutrients in our need for an uninter- 
rupted supply. The amount in the 
body tissues can easily fluctuate a pint 
or two, which means that the weight 
will fluctuate a pound or two as a 
result. Heavy loss of water, as on a 
hot day or in a steam bath, demands 
prompt replacement if danger is to be 
avoided. Only in certain illnesses, such 
as those of the heart or kidney, does 
the amount of water which is held 
increase markedly. These conditions 

must have a physician's attention to 
the disease rather than the person's 
manipulation of his water intake. 

Both the food supply and the body 
regulatory processes affect the quantity 
of a nutrient which is present in the 
tissues. Compare protein and fat, for 

Severe limitation on protein supply 
can reduce the body content and 
stunt growth. However, generous pro- 
tein will not provide short parents 
with tall sons for the basketball team 
nor the office worker with the bulging 
biceps of a weight-lifter. Severe limita- 
tion on fuel supply leads to wasting of 
body tissues and starvation. On the 
other hand, when the intake of fuel 
consistently exceeds the expenditure, 
no apparent limit exists on how plump 
a person may become. Another con- 
trast can be drawn between vitamins 
A and C. Beyond certain limits of 
intake of vitamin C, the body content 
does not increase, while generous 
intakes of vitamin A will lead to con- 
tinued increase in the amount in the 
liver, even to the point of harm. 

That amount of a nutrient which 
accumulates in the body as a non- 
functioning surplus is referred to as 
"stored." Fat, carbohydrate, minerals, 
and vitamins A, D, E, and K are 
nutrients which can be stored. Protein 
and the water-soluble vitamins — in- 
cluding thiamine, niacin, and ribo- 
flavin — cannot be stored. 

As more of a nutrient is eaten, more 
of it is absorbed from the digestive 
tract into the body. When the nutrient 
cannot be stored, the excess of the 
absorbed material is excreted, princi- 
pally in the urine. In the case of the 
energy-yielding nutrients, protein is 
not stored and carbohydrate is stored 
in only limited amounts. None of the 
fuel supply, however, is wasted. Both 
protein and carbohydrate can be con- 
verted to fat in the body and may be 
stored in the fat depots. 

The concept of storage can be mis- 
understood and unwarranted assump- 
tions made. There is never a daily 
turnover or loss of all of a nutrient 
from the body cells. If any nutrient is 


eliminated from the diet, the amount 
in the body does not immediately drop 
to zero. Instead, there is a long period 
of slow depletion, in which the body 
makes what adjustments it can to the 
stress of lack of supply. Damage slowly 
becomes severe enough to be recogniz- 
able. The supplies of those nutrients 
which can be stored will protect the 
body for much longer periods than 
will the available amounts of nonstored 
nutrients. The ability to have reserves 
of nutrients is no guarantee that any 
are present. As with your financial 
reserve in the bank, a period of deposi- 
tion or storing up must precede any 

In everyday practice of good nutri- 
tion, the aim is to operate the body 
close to the top concentrations of pro- 
tein and water-soluble vitamins, and 
to provide for reasonable storage of 
fat, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins. 
Our present year-round good food 
supplies make this possible. Reserve 
supplies in the body are called upon 
when the intake is interrupted, as in 
illness; when the demand is especially 
great, as in the periods of very rapid 
growth of the child, pregnancy, or 
sustained activity; and when loss is 
especially heavy, as in the drain on 
iron stores caused by blood loss, or 
other losses during illness. 

The ability to build up stores of 
certain nutrients is a mixed blessing. 
With continued storage of excess fuel 
intake, the result can be obesity and 
its complications. This is the only case 
where the unwanted excess has come 
from foods. 

Medical reports have been made of 
people who became ill from excessive 
intakes of vitamin A and vitamin D 
over a period of time. The toxic 
quantities always came from excessive 
use of concentrated medicinal sources 
of the vitamins. Not enough occurs 
naturally in foods to be toxic. In fact, 
vitamin D is the one vitamin which 
does not even occur in our foods in 
particularly useful amounts, and its 
addition to milk has been an excellent 
health measure for the country. Un- 
fortunately, vitamin D has been added 


to a wide variety of foods on the 
market. It is hoped that in the future 
the addition of vitamin D can be 
limited to milk, including fresh, canned, 
and dried milk. The amount of the 
vitamin D formed in the skin upon 
exposure to sunlight is never a part of 
the problem of excess. 

The individual minerals vary mark- 
edly in the amount of each that is 
present in the body, the conditions of 
storage, and the possibility of harm 
from excess. It is the trace minerals 
that are sometimes involved in prob- 
lems of excess. The source of the excess 
is not the food per se, but some con- 
tamination which has occurred. We 
have learned we must protect our food 
supplies against contamination with 
copper and zinc resulting from incor- 
rect use of containers. The Food and 
Drug Administration has found a num- 
ber of occasions when it was necessary 
to identify and stop the flow of certain 
minerals into the food supply. 

Regulated addition of iron to refined 
grain products, iodine to table salt, 
and fluorine to drinking water are 
necessary parts of our supplies of these 
nutrients, but it is a mistake to assume 
that just any amount of any mineral is 
beneficial. Mineral compounds should 
never be handled casually; a child can 
be fatally poisoned by swallowing a 
handful of iron pills. 

Let us consider the possibilities for 
a person to select a food intake that 
will not provide enough of one or more 
nutrients. For fuel and water we have 
the sense of hunger and the sense of 
thirst to help to guide us. For some 
nutrients, our need is so small in 
comparison to the amounts in any 
selection of food we might make that 
we always have been successful in 
meeting our needs. Examples of such 
nutrients are the vitamins biotin, 
pantothenic acid, and vitamin £, as 
well as such minerals as copper and 
zinc. Some nutrients have been prob- 
lems in the history of man. Certain of 
the diseases known through the cen- 
turies have been found to result from 
marked deficiencies of one or more 

Following is a list of the historic 
names of these deficiency diseases and 
of the nutrient which is involved: 

Scurvy — vitamin C ; simple goiter — 
iodine; beriberi — thiamine; pellagra — 
niacin; and rickets — vitamin D and 

We have inherited no name for 
vitamin A deficiency but use two 
terms for the eye symptoms involved, 
night blindness and xerophthalmia. 
In recent years the term kwashiorkor 
has come to be accepted for severe 
calorie-protein malnutrition, typically 
in the very young. 

The historic deficiency diseases are 
all too common in some areas of the 
world today. In the United States, 
classic cases are so rare that teaching 
hospitals are very grateful to have an 
occasional one for young physicians 
to observe. This is not to say that we 
have yet reached the goal that each 
person receives the benefit of a fully 
adequate diet. 

Effects of different levels of intake 
of nutrients upon people have been 
studied carefully. Definite benefits to 
health result from increases in the 
nutrient intake beyond the disease- 
prevention level. The exact point at 
which any further increase will bring 
no possible benefit is difficult to 
establish firmly. For these reasons, 
recommendations for nutrient intake 
made by nutritionists include what is 
called a safety factor, an amount of the 
nutrient beyond that having demon- 
strable effect. This is to provide the 
margin of security and certainty that 
most of us like to have in everything 
that we do, whether it be in highway 
driving, family financial planning, or 
swimming. Too large or too small 
margins of safety can be self-defeating, 
wasting resources in one fashion or 
another. The establishment of dietary 
goals does require carefully weighed 

The leadership task of setting rec- 
ommendations in the United States 
is entrusted to the Food and Nutrition 

Board of the National Research Coun- 
cil, which periodically reviews the 
research information and publishes a 
table of Recommended Daily Dietary 
Allowances for the nutrients. The 
greater the difference is between the 
recommended allowances and the 
intake of a population group or an 
individual, the greater the need for a 
change in habits of food intake. 

Many people in the United States 
eat food which meets the nutrient 
recommendations; some do not. It is 
easy to evaluate your food intake and 
determine the group to which you 
belong. The recommended amounts 
of the nutrients have been translated 
into amounts of common types of foods 
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
in its Daily Food Guide. Compare 
what you are eating with this guide. 
The results will let you know whether 
you are permitting yourself the secu- 
rity of a generous nutrient intake. 

Evaluation of the food intake alone 
cannot be used to provide reliable 
information on the existence, cause, 
or treatment of any signs of ill health. 
Such information comes from an 
evaluation of the person, the intricate 
self that is the net result of the inter- 
action of nutrient supply, heredity, 
and environmental influences. 

In succeeding chapters of this book 
you will find information on what 
nutrients more often are in a short 
supply in the food eaten by families 
in this country, what may be done to 
influence food habits so that the 
nutrient intake will be adequate, and 
a very practical guide to selection of 
an adequate diet for yourself and your 

For farther reading: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food for 
Fitness: A Daily Food Guide. Leaflet 424, 
Washington, D.C. 20250, 1964. 

Leverton, Ruth M., Food Becomes You. 
Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 

Mickelsen, Olap, Nutrition Science and 
Tou. Scholastic Book Service, New York, 


Mary M. Hill 

Creating Good 
Food Habits- 
Start Young, 
Never Quit 

Food habits begin to form almost as 
soon as a child is born. They result 
from repeated experience with food 
and are modified, rather easily in the 
early years, as experience changes. 

The first modification is in spacing 
meals to eliminate nighttime feedings. 
Later, a variety of foods are added to 
the baby's diet. 

Food habits the child forms while 
very young and the modifications he 
makes as he grows and develops are 
good food habits when they meet his 
current individual needs for nutrients 
and for food energy. The child's needs 
change while he grows and matures, 
and so his food practices need to be 
adapted as these changes occur. 

The greater the variety of foods 
which children know and enjoy, the 
easier it is to make these adaptations 
as they are needed. 

There are several conditions in life 
that influence the assortment of foods 
a person will eat. One is the socio- 
economic level into which a child is 
born. The foods a mother gives her 
baby must be selected from the vari- 
ety of foods available to her econom- 
ically. The young child of the poor 
family gains experience primarily with 


low-cost foods. These may or may 
not be good choices. The fact remains 
that the variety of foods that this child 
learns to eat and to enjoy is limited 
by cost. 

The young child of a wealthy fam- 
ily will probably have experience with 
a greatly different variety of foods. 
Again, these may or may not be good 
choices. The variety of foods this child 
learns to eat and enjoy is not limited 
by cost but undoubtedly is limited by 
one or more of the other conditions 
of life that influence choices. 

The ethnic background of the family 
influences the variety of foods and 
the methods of food preparation that 
the young child experiences. If the 
family came fairly recently from a 
rice-eating country, rice will probably 
be one of the first foods the young 
child will learn to eat. 

Religion may also influence the 
variety of foods that a child experi- 
ences. Some groups forgo certain 
foods at all times and some abstain 
from the use of particular foods at 
specified times. The foods that will be 
given to a young child in one of these 
families will naturally be in line with 
dictates of the family's religion. 

The most direct influence, however, 
is the parents themselves — their food 
preferences, attitudes toward food, 
and their information about the nutri- 
tive value of foods. 

It is extremely difficult for a mother 
not to communicate in some way her 
dislike for a food she is feeding her 
child because she believes "it is good 
for him." Often the child resists this 
particular food even when the mother 
consciously tries to mask her own lack 
of preference. 

It is difficult to interest a small child 
in a food which one family member 
refuses even to taste. How often that 
Johnnie will not eat a particular food 
because his father complains every 
time the food is served ! 

Sometimes the experiences parents 

Mary M. Hill is a Nutritionist, Consumer and 
Food Economics Research Division, Agricultural 
Research Service, 

have had cause them to severely limit 
the variety of foods they make avail- 
able to their children. For example, on 
visiting a school where an informal 
breakfast survey was in progress some 
years ago, we found the school nurse 
concerned about one child's breakfast 
records. The little girl reported she 
had cream of wheat, brewer's yeast, 
bonemeal, and rose hip powder for 
her breakfast every morning. Investi- 
gation revealed that her parents had 
been interned in a concentration 
camp during World War II. Upon 
liberation, they were taken to England 
for treatment of the severe dietary 
deficiencies they had suffered. The 
therapeutic diet included brewer's 
yeast, bonemeal, and rose hip powder. 
These parents wanted to be sure their 
child would never suffer as they had. 
This, of course, is an extreme instance, 
but many parents today limit the 
variety of foods because of their beliefs 
about health and the wholesomeness 
of food. 

We have named several conditions 
that tend to limit the variety of foods 
our children learn to eat and enjoy. 
There are other conditions that tend 
to extend the variety of foods that 
children will eat. 

Fortunately, children do not spend 
all their formative years in the confines 
of their homes under the influence only 
of the immediate family. Most chil- 
dren, at an early age, have experience 
with other children. How many times 
have you heard a child say to his 
mother, "I want some of what Janie 
has." Often this is an opportunity to 
help a child learn to enjoy some fruit 
or vegetable that has been previously 

As the child grows older, he has 
experience with other adults whom 
he comes to regard highly. His first 
teacher often becomes important to 
him. If the teacher has a wholesome 
attitude toward food and sets a good 
example, she helps to extend the vari- 
ety of food that the child will accept 
and enjoy. 

Drastic changes in the food supply 
also may extend variety. For example, 

during the food rationing of World 
War II, families were forced to use or 
to increase the use of foods that had 
not been on their usual shopping list. 
After the rationing was over some peo- 
ple, particularly children and young 
folks, had discovered foods such as a 
variety of fish that they could eat with 

Children who participate in the Na- 
tional School Lunch program often 
learn to know and enjoy foods not 
usually available to them in the home. 
Repeated experiences with desirable 
food practices tend to help the child 
develop good eating habits. 

Family mobility tends to acquaint 
children with a wider variety of foods. 
Fortunately, families usually stay in 
one place long enough for the family 
members to acquire a taste for some 
of the new foods. 

If an individual's food choices, day 
after day, fail to meet his needs for 
energy and nutrients, his food habits 
are poor and over time will cause 
health problems. 

The U.S. food supply has such vari- 
ety and abundance that food combina- 
tions which will lead to an adequate 
diet are innumerable. 

Acceptance of a wide variety of foods 
increases the likelihood and ease of 
achieving an adequate diet, but is no 
assurance that such a diet will result. 
Some information about combining of 
foods is necessary. 

Nutritionists have translated recom- 
mendations of the Food and Nutrition 
Board, National Research Council- 
National Academy of Sciences, into 
servings of food and compiled them 
into reliable, easy-to-follow food guides. 
One such guide, "Food for Fitness — 
A Daily Food Guide," is available 
from the Office of Information, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20250. 

This guide divides food into four 
broad groups, allowing a great deal of 
choice within each group. If the speci- 
fied number of servings from each food 
group are eaten, a good nutritional 
foundation will be assured. Extra serv- 
ings of these and other foods to round 


out meals and to meet individual needs 
for food energy are desirable. 

It is much easier to develop and 
maintain good food habits in young 
children than it is to correct any poor 
habits as children grow older. Con- 
sidering the way most people in the 
United States live and work today, 
this requires the concerted coopera- 
tive efforts of all those who deal with 
children at meal or snack time. Here 
are some pointers: 

• At home. Parents profoundly influ- 
ence the attitudes and habits of their 
children. Children develop preferences 
for particular foods from the assort- 
ment of food served them. Likes or 
dislikes are developed upon the basis 
of flavor, consistency, texture, and 
the like. 

All food rejected may not be dis- 
liked. Children may refuse to taste 
foods they see other family members 
avoid or those that for some reason 
are unappealing to them. When the 
latter occurs, it is wise to wait until 
another day and matter-of-factly offer 
the food again. 

During the preschool or prenursery 
school years, parents are solely re- 
sponsible for providing the nutritional 
guidance which results in desirable 
eating habits — setting a good example 
and providing a good variety of foods. 
By this means, parents convey to their 
young children that all food is good 
and should at least be tasted. A whole- 
some attitude toward food and a 
willingness to accept new foods or 
different methods of preparation is 
the first big step in developing and 
maintaining desirable eating habits. 
We eat food because it tastes good! 
The fact it is good for us is a bonus 
rather than an acceptable reason : — 
to young children — for eating it. 

After they enter school, children 
continue to need an example set for 
them at home, especially at breakfast 
time. One way to provide such an 
example is for both parents to allow 
enough time every morning to eat an 
adequate breakfast themselves. 


Parents influence schoolchildren as 
well as preschool tots. Parents who 
are permissive so long as suitable 
choices are made often find it easier 
to guide their children when selections 
need modification. Boys and girls will 
often add the milk or fruit needed 
to round out the meal if they can have 
the "poor boy" or "hero" sandwich 
they want. 

Learning to eat a variety of foods 
will proceed faster if parents will serve 
at home the important foods studied 
in school or that are included in the 
school lunch. Parents can also help 
their children to establish good food 
habits by encouraging them to par- 
ticipate in the school lunch even 
though the children may not yet have 
learned to enjoy some of the foods 

In recent years, mothers working, 
consolidation of schools, and other 
changes in family and community 
life cause millions of children to eat 
some of their meals away from home 
and often without any supervision. 
Responsibility for the food habits of 
these children becomes a shared one. 

• In nursery school. Although parents 
do and should have responsibility for 
the nutritional health of their children, 
the nursery school can support the 
home by serving for meals and snacks 
a variety of foods which contribute 
very substantially toward meeting the 
child's daily needs for nutrients and 
food energy. Children respond better 
to food if die surroundings are pleasant 
and the adult is understanding but 
firm about it being time to eat together. 

Further, the child should have an 
opportunity to participate in activities 
that will help him extend the variety 
of foods he will eat. Tasting parties 
and games at snack time that motivate 
the child to taste unfamiliar or pre- 
viously rejected foods are very good 
activities for this purpose. 

The greatest contributions the nur- 
sery school can make to achievement 
of good eating habits are (1) providing 
well-chosen foods that look good and 

taste good to the children and (2) a 
continuing wholesome attitude to- 
ward all food on the part of adults 
who work with the children. 

• In the school classroom. The class- 
room teacher has many opportunities 
to reinforce good teaching begun in 
the home by including at all grade 
levels well-chosen experiences with 
food in the classroom. Accurate nutri- 
tion information suitable to the age 
and maturity of the children can also 
be presented in such subject matter 
areas as health, science, social studies, 
and language arts. 

In the primary grades, it is im- 
portant that children learn that all 
food is good. Up to this time, the 
child has had the opportunity to 
learn to eat the foods included in the 
family food pattern. Now he can 
increase the variety of foods he knows 
by becoming familiar with those in- 
cluded in the food patterns of his 
classmates and the children he learns 

The teacher takes the place of the 
mother during the school day. Her 
enthusiasm for all foods influences the 
children to taste unfamiliar ones. 

If the child has a good example to 
follow both at home and at school, he 
will probably enjoy learning to identify 
the various foods he eats and to 
investigate and compare the flavors, 
textures, and consistencies. It is not 
expected that he learn to enjoy all 
foods equally well but it is important 
that he be willing to taste all foods 
offered to him. If either teacher or 
parents display a poor attitude toward 
foods, confusion often results and the 
youngster may limit the variety of 
foods he will eat. 

In grades four through six, children 
are learning how to find answers to 
many questions. These children need 
the opportunity to decide for them- 
selves that food really does make a 
difference in how one looks and feels 
and how well children grow. In these 
grades, nutrition guidance often be- 
comes a part of science teaching, and 

plant growing or animal projects be- 
come a means of learning that the 
kind and amount of food eaten are 
important to health. 

Children of this age often resist 
getting up in the morning and tend 
to dawdle while preparing for the 
day. Thus this group, especially the 
older ones, often alter earlier good 
habits by skimping or skipping break- 
fast. Food habit surveys of school- 
children reveal that this poor practice 
tends to persist on through the school 

Simple breakfasts that children can 
safely and easily prepare for themselves 
are good projects at this grade level. 
These need not always be the usual 
combinations we associate with break- 
fast but may be planned around some 
leftover food basic to family cultural 
patterns. This is an excellent oppor- 
tunity to teach children what to put 
with the preferred food to make a good 
breakfast of it. 

For example, in a neighborhood 
where many Spanish-American fami- 
lies use beans and rice almost as 
regularly as other families use bread, 
children could be encouraged to add 
tomato juice or some other source of 
vitamin C and a glass of milk to their 
usual breakfast of beans and rice. 

It is also necessary for pupils to 
learn that an adequate diet can be 
made up of many different food com- 
binations. While children are studying 
other countries in their social studies 
classes, it is natural that they should 
include something about the eating 
patterns of the people. 

Teachers who have taught units of 
this kind report that children enjoy 
them and seem to learn readily to 
understand children of other nations 
and cultures. 

Secondary school students are ready 
to review in an organized fashion the 
facts they have learned about food in 
the elementary school. They can then 
apply those facts as they gain an 
understanding of the processes in- 
volved in utilizing food to meet body 
needs. Both boys and girls need to 
develop this understanding in addition 


to some facility in making wise choices 
for themselves. 

Desirable attitudes and habits de- 
veloped in the elementary school years 
will benefit the boys and girls during 
adolescence and later as adults. Un- 
derstanding what happens to food after 
it is eaten, and ability to select meals 
which are good nutritionally and a 
pleasure to eat will encourage students 
to continue to make good selections 
for themselves and for any children 
they may have in the future. 

• In school feeding programs. Schools 
that participate in die federally spon- 
sored school feeding programs have 
an important resource within the 
school for providing nutrition guidance 
to boys and girls. We know it is im- 
portant for boys and girls to acquire 
nutrition information, but we learned 
long ago that being told what to eat 
to insure good nutritional health does 
not necessarily result in better food 
habits among children or adults whose 
food practices need improvement. 

Boys and girls need to have repeated 
experience with desirable food prac- 
tices over an extended period if good 
habit formation is to result. The school 
lunch and breakfast programs can 
provide children this day-by-day ex- 
perience throughout the school career 
by serving nutritionally sound meals 
that children will eat. 

In any group feeding operation, 
whether it is a family group of three 
or four persons or a school population 
of 300 or 400, it will not be possible 
to completely please everyone at 
every meal. No one enjoys all foods 
equally, but everyone can learn at 
least to taste all the foods served and 
possibly acquire a taste for some pre- 
viously avoided. 

School feeding programs continu- 
ally provide opportunities for boys 
and girls to eat a good lunch daily — 
in some schools, breakfast also is 
served — and at the same time to 
increase the variety of food they can 
eat with pleasure. The wholesome 
attitude of parents and teachers to- 


ward all food and the pleasant atmos- 
phere created by a friendly school 
feeding staff influences students to 
take advantage of the opportunities 
to learn to eat well by eating the good 
meals available every day. 

This learning is most likely to take 
place when meals are planned with a 
realistic understanding of the children 
and the communities being served. 
Meal patterns prescribed by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture assure 
well-balanced meals but are flexible, 
and preferred foods may be included. 

New foods or those most generally 
avoided are often served as part of a 
lunch featuring hamburgers, spaghetti, 
or some other food of high appeal. 
Thus, the principles of habit formation 
and learning are applied along with 
principles of good nutrition. 

School feeding programs are most 
successful when parents, teachers, and 
administrators understand the objec- 
tives and problems involved and co- 
operate by giving their support. 

• Snacks at home and away from 
home. In recent years there has been 
less emphasis upon the advisability of 
limiting food intake to three meals 
daily. One or two additional small 
meals or snacks have become a part 
of our culture. Nutritionally, this is 
satisfactory so long as the total daily 
intake of food meets the individual's 
need for nutrients and does not exceed 
his need for calories. 

Unfortunately, the choices often 
made at snacktime are relatively con- 
centrated sources of calories but do not 
contribute much to nutrient needs of 
the individual. 

One way to improve this situation 
is to make wholesome snacks available 
to all family members at times and 
places where snacks are eaten. The 
family's larder should include good 
snack choices such as cheese, peanut 
butter, fruits, raw vegetables, fruit or 
vegetable juices, and milk. 

Gathering places for teenagers and 
snack bars for office or other workers 
should be encouraged to at least have 

A good lunch served in pleasant surroundings. 

fruit and milk vending machines as 
well as candy and soda pop vending 

Food habits are closely associated 
with the individual's sense of security, 
and any modification, particularly as 
he grows older, will require strong 

Modifications in food habits need 
to be made to adjust to the decreased 
need for calories as people grow older. 
The number of overweight people one 
sees is testimony that they have failed 
to make the adjustment. For the most 
part this must be credited to lack of 
motivation rather than lack of infor- 
mation. How to motivate people to 
make these adjustments is still an area 
that needs further study. 

Some people are meeting their need 
for calories — are not overweight — but 

are eating a combination of foods that 
do not supply recommended amounts 
of all nutrients. It is difficult for such 
individuals to see a need for change 
inasmuch as they maintain a desirable 
weight and thus do not associate any 
symptoms of poor health they may 
have with eating habits. Cause and 
effect are not easily demonstrated. 

Much needs to be learned about 
how to help people make modifica- 
tions when they are needed. We do 
know, however, that those who have 
a good attitude toward all food, a 
spirit of adventure that prompts them 
to taste new foods or to try new 
methods of food preparation, can ad- 
just more easily to modifications in 
diet whether for health reasons or as 
a result of limited availability of foods 
familiar to them. 


Faith Clark 

A Scorecard 
on How We 
Are Ealing 

The average American diet, as meas- 
ured by the food available for con- 
sumption, is varied and sufficient to 
feed our population well. 

Amounts of food estimated to have 
been used per person per day in spring 
1965, the date of our latest household 
food consumption survey, were 10^ 
ounces of meat, poultry, and fish (or 
enough for about two servings a day) ; 
about one egg; nearly 2% cups of 
milk or its equivalent in milk products ; 
close to 4 ounces of potatoes and 
sweetpotatoes ; and a litde over a 
pound of vegetables and fruit, includ- 
ing juices. 

Also, about 3% slices of bread and 
2% ounces of other bakery products; 
around 3 ounces of flour and other 
cereal products; 2% ounces of sugar 
and other sweets; nearly 2 ounces of 
fats, oils, and salad dressings; plus 
beverages, nuts, mixtures, and condi- 
ments. Some of these are wasted, of 
course, but, even at that, the amounts 
would appear to be generous. 

All this provides plenty of calories, 
protein, minerals, and vitamins to 
meet the goals set by nutrition special- 
ists. This does not mean, however, 
that everyone in the Nation is well fed. 


There is great variation in the 
amounts of foods used by individuals 
within each household and by different 
groups of households. One of the 
principal factors affecting the kinds 
and amounts of foods that people eat 
is their purchasing power — roughly 
equated with income. But the other 
important factors are the habits and 
preferences that influence choice — a 
complex set of conditions that result 
from people's education, sociological 
backgrounds, and situations. 

Comparisons of present-day food 
consumption are available with earlier 
years and with other countries. A few 
facts help to place our present-day 
pattern in perspective before we go on 
to answer the question "How Well Are 
Americans Eating?" 

One of the most notable changes in 
our food consumption in recent years 
has been the increase in use of meat. 
Meat is one of our most preferred 
foods. When there is more money to 
spend, some of it is likely to be spent 
for meat, poultry, or fish. In our 
statistics we frequendy group these 
main dish items together. 

In the last two decades production 
of meat and poultry on a per capita 
basis has increased substantially. We 
have also had an increase in real 
incomes in the United States. As a 
result, families at all incomes have 
shared in the increased consumption. 
By spring 1965, urban families in the 
lowest third of the income distribution 
were consuming more meat, poultry, 
and fish than families in the highest 
third did in spring 1942. And wartime 
rationing of meat was not in effect 
at that time in 1942. 

Milk and milk products have not 
risen much in consumption as have 
meat, poultry, and fish. In fact, there 
was a decrease in the amounts used by 
the families at all three income levels 
between 1955 (when a survey was 
made) and 1965. 

Consumption of grain products has 

Faith Clark is Director, Consumer and Food 
Economics Research Division, Agricultural Re- 
search Service. She has taken part in Jive nationwide 
food consumption surveys. 

decreased slightly at all income levels. 
Potatoes also have declined, but the 
use of more processed potatoes in 
recent years has helped stem the drop 
in consumption. There have been 
slight downward shifts in use of other 
vegetables and fruits since the end of 
World War II. Increases in consump- 
tion of processed products have not 
made up for the decreases in use of 
fresh products. 

Higher income families consume 
more of meat, poultry, and fish, milk 
and milk products, and fruits and 
vegetables than do the lower income 
families. Grain products are used in 
larger amounts by low income families. 
There is relatively little difference in 
the use of potatoes. These are broad 
generalizations, however. There are 
many exceptions of individual foods 
within these major groupings. 

U.S. food supplies are abundant and 
generous in animal products compared 
with those of many countries. The 
latest World Food Survey made by the 
United Nations Food and Agriculture 
Organization shows that amounts of 
animal protein ranged from 8 grams 
per person per day in the Far East and 
14 grams in the Near East to 62 grams 
in Oceania and 66 grams in North 

But even in this affluent country, 
not all share in our abundance. From 
a nutritional standpoint, many make 
poor choices although they could well 
afford to make selections that would 
be rated nutritionally good. 

In our recent nationwide survey we 
found that about half of the U.S. 
households had food supplies that we 
described as good, that is, they met the 
Recommended Dietary Allowances 
(RDA's) of the Food and Nutrition 
Board for seven nutrients. About a 
fifth had food supplies that we called 
poor - — because they furnished less than 
two-thirds of the RDA's in one or 
more of these seven nutrients. The 
remainder were fail* — somewhere in 
between good and poor. 

Note that we are not saying that 
the fifth with poor diets were hungry 
or malnourished. Poor diets in the 

long term are, usually, conducive to 
poor nutrition, but the occurrence of 
poor diets is not synonymous with 
hunger or malnutrition. There is no 
way to relate the findings from our 
food consumption studies directly to 
malnutrition and the health of the 
American people. It was not designed 
for that purpose. Physical examina- 
tions and biochemical tests would have 
been needed. 

So far, we have been citing statistics 
based on household food supplies. In 
measuring such supplies we have not 
been able to allow for waste nor have 
we allowed for differences in the con- 
sumption of food and in the needs of 
household members. 

At the time of the survey of house- 
hold food usage in a week, we also 
obtained information on food intake of 
members of the families during the 24 
hours preceding the time the inter- 
viewers called at their home. This 
information has been tabulated and 
provides, for the first time, a national 
profile of the foods eaten by men, 
women, and children of different ages. 

With some 15,000 in the survey, 
representing almost 200 million of us 
living in housekeeping households, it 
is not easy, however, to reduce the 
statistics to neat pictures of a typical 
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For one 
thing, people eat much more fre- 
quently than three times a day. In 
1965 we found that 16 percent of the 
men 20 to 34 years of age had some- 
thing to eat or drink six or more times 
a day. The proportion decreased with 
age — 13 percent for men 35 to 64 and 
5 percent for men 65 years and older. 
The percentages were only slightly 
smaller for women. 

Describing a representative or aver- 
age breakfast, noon, or evening meal 
is almost impossible. The best we can 
do is to add together foods that are 
either used interchangeably in meals 
or have like nutritive value. 

Some of the chief factors that affect 
the kinds and amounts of food indi- 
viduals eat are their sex, age, size, and 
activity; their incomes and ability to 
buy; their food choices and habits, 


Quantity per Person in a Day 


Age in Years 

150 200 250 300 

siderably higher than amounts eaten 
by either younger or older males. The 
peak years for grain products are a 
little earlier — between 15 and 20 years 
of age. For beverages other than milk 
and fruit juices, the years between 20 
and 55 are the highest. For milk and 
milk products, the largest use after 
infancy is by boys between 9 and 20. 
After 20 years, consumption drops 
off sharply. 

For females there tends to be less dif- 
ference between age groups in amounts 
of food eaten than for males. For exam- 
ple, the average amounts of meat, 
poultry, and fish eaten by girls and 
women between the age of 12 and 74 
differ relatively little. The peak years 
for grain products are 12 to 14. From 
age 15 years and on, consumption 
drops slightly. Beverages other than 
milk and juices, though generally used 
in smaller amounts by females than 
males, show much the same consump- 
tion pattern by age for the two sexes. 
Use of milk and milk products by girls 

which are in turn affected by ethnic 
background; and many other condi- 
tions affecting family and childhood 
patterns of living. 

Always important, as we have already 
emphasized, is the availability of foods 
in markets or from the home farm or 

Our nationwide survey of the food 
intake of individuals in 1965 showed 
that men and boys eat larger quan- 
tities of most types of foods than 
women and girls of the same age. This 
is especially true for bread, other baked 
goods and cereals; meat, poultry, and 
fish; fats and oils; and sugars and 
sweets. For vegetables and fruits, there 
is less difference. 

Average amounts of all foods used 
by men and women 20 to 34 years of 
age are shown in the table on p. 272. 

For most foods, consumption peaks 
for males in their late teens and early 
adulthood. For example, the average 
amount of meat, poultry, and fish 
eaten by men 20 to 34 years is con- 


Quantity per Person in a Day 


Age in Years 
Under 1 year 




and women declines consistently be- 
yond the 9 to 1 1 age group. The low 
point is reached at the 35 to 54 year 
age group, with a slight upturn after 55. 
Vegetables and fruits are used in 
quite similar amounts by adults of dif- 
ferent age groups. There is less regu- 
larity to patterns of use, partly because 
it is more difficult to summarize types 
and amounts used. 

In judging how well people eat in 
our research studies, we take into ac- 
count the Recommended Dietary Al- 
lowances for each of 22 different sex 
and age groups. These are the same 
guides for good nutrition established 
by the Food and Nutrition Board of 
the National Academy of Sciences — 
National Research Council which we 
use in judging the nutritional quality 
of household diets. 

When the total amounts of each 
nutrient in the average diets of these 
22 groups — as revealed by the 1965 
survey — were compared with the Rec- 

Quantity per Person in a Day 


Age in Years 
Under 1 year 




Quantity per Person in a Day 


Age in Years 
Under 1 year 

75 and ever 


400 600 


ommended Dietary Allowances, the 
results showed that: 

Average diets for most sex-age groups 
approached or were above the Recom- 
mended Dietary Allowances for calo- 
ries and five of the seven nutrients 
we studied: protein, vitamin A value, 
thiamine, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid. 

Calcium and iron furnished by the 
day's food, however, were more than 
30 percent below recommended al- 
lowances for several groups, especially 
of girls and women. The iron in diets 
of infants and children under 3 years 
was 50 percent below recommended 
amounts. However, the Food and Nu- 
trition Board does not expect the 
recommended allowances for iron for 
some age groups to be met by ordinary 
food products. The Board does expect 
ordinary diets to provide at least 6 
milligrams per 1,000 calories. That 
level was not reached in the diets of 
children 1 through 8 years and of 
boys and girls 9 through 19 years. 

In general we found that the diets of 



Under 1 year 
1- 2 years 
3- 5 years 
6- 8 years 

9-11 years 
12-14 years 
15-17 years 
18-19 years 
20-34 years 
35-54 years 
55-64 years 
65-74 years 
75 years and over 

9-11 years 
12-14 years 
15-17 years 
18-19 years 
20-34 years 
35-54 years 
55-64 years 
65-74 years 
75 years and over 

Average Intake of Group Below Recommended Dietary Allowance, NAS-NCR, 1968 


Vitamin A 


• • • • 

• • • • 

• • • 

• • • < 

• • • 

• • • 

• • • < 

• • • 4 

• • • < 

• • • < 


1-10% • 

11-20% • • 

21-29% • • • 

30% OR MORE • • • < 

males met the recommended allow- 
ances for more nutrients than the diets 
of females. Except for iron, the average 
diets of children under 9 years were 
above recommendations. The diets of 
several age groups of girls and women 
were below recommended amounts of 
several nutrients — vitamin A, thia- 
mine, and riboflavin in addition to cal- 
cium and iron. Older men (over 75 
years) had diets low in calcium, vita- 
min A, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid. 

With averages below the recom- 
mended allowances for some sex-age 
groups, it is safe to conclude that some 
persons within those groups had diets 
in need of improvement. Where aver- 
ages fell to more than 30 percent below 
recommendations, as in calcium and 
iron for some sex-age groups, the pro- 
portions of persons with diets in need 
of improving were almost surely high. 

The proportion of calories derived 
from fat ranged from an average of 
39 percent for infants to 45 percent 
for men 20 to 64 years of age. The Food 
and Nutrition Board does not include 


an allowance for fat in the Recom- 
mended Dietary Allowances — nor a 
recommendation on the percentage of 
calories that should come from fat. 
Percentages as high as 40 percent, 
however, are considered too high by 
some authorities. 

Income and the quality of diet are 
closely related. This relationship is 
easier to describe for household diets 
than for the diets of men, women, and 
children of different ages separately. 
In the 1965 household study, we found 
that of the families with incomes under 
$3,000, about a third had what we 
called poor diets. Of the families with 
incomes of $10,000 or more, about a 
tenth had poor diets. Thus income was 
definitely related to the quality of 
the diet. 

Yet even at the highest income level, 
a sizable proportion of families had 
poor diets. Food habits, not the ability 
to purchase, were the dominant cause 
of poor diets for this group. Some 
families at almost all income levels 

either do not know which foods to 
select in order to make up a good diet 
or they do not have any desire to 
choose these foods. 

There is relatively little difference 
in the nutritive quality of the diets of 
families in different regions of the 
United States. A slightly higher pro- 
portion of families had poor diets in 
the South and North Central region 
than in the Northeast and the West, 
according to the 1965 survey. 

Differences in regional food patterns 
are smaller than formerly. Improve- 
ments in processing, transportation, 
and storage have made it possible to 
have consumption of the same foods 
throughout the Nation. Seasonal fluc- 
tuations are also less pronounced than 
years ago. 

There are still some very important' 
differences, however, between the way 
people eat in the South and the rest 
of the United States. In the 1965 
survey, households were classified into 
the four broad Census regions: North- 
east, North Central, South, and West. 
Households in the South had the 
lowest average consumption of milk 
and milk products. They also used the 
least bread but the most flour, sugar, 
fat, and eggs — indicating more home 
baking than in the other regions. 

Families in the South used about 
the same amount of meat, poultry, and 
fish as in the other three regions, but 
their choices within this group were 
different. Southern families used a 
larger share of the total as pork, 
poultry, and fish. But they used a 
smaller share as beef and lunch meat 
than the other regions. 

Rural-urban differences are also 
much less pronounced. Farm families 
now produce on their own places 
about a third of their food. Only 10 
years ago, the proportion was about 
40 percent. And of course many years 
ago, the proportion was still higher. 

The greatest difference between 
farm and urban food consumption is 
still in flour and cereals. In 1965 farm 
households used more than twice as 
much of these foods as urban families. 
Their use of more fats and sugars is 

U.S. households, one week in Spring 




Under 13,000 














5'«;S' »»«»« 




32% 12% 

SIO.OOO and over 


28% 9% 

1 Met recommended dietary allowances (1963) for 7 nutrients. 
z Met at least % RDA for 7 nutrients but less than RDA for 1 to 7. 
3 Met less than % RIM for 1 to 7 nutrients; is not synonymous with 
serious hunger and malnutrition. 

partly related to their use of larger 
quantities of flour and cereals. Farm 
families use smaller amounts than city 
families of purchased bread and other 
bakery products, soups and other type 
purchased mixes, and all the types of 
beverages — soft drinks, coffee, ades 
and punches, and alcoholic beverages. 

Ten years ago farm families used al- 
most a fifth more milk per person than 
urban families. Because of the decline 
in use of home-produced milk, their 
consumption is now almost the same. 

Another difference between rural 
and urban families is the extent to 
which they eat some of their meals 
away from home. Although a larger 
proportion of rural families is now 
buying food — either meals or between- 
meal food and drink — for consumption 
away from home than 10 years ago, the 
proportion is much less than that of 
urban families. 

In a week in the spring of 1965, some 
62 percent of the farm families spent 
money for either meals or snacks for 
eating away from home, with an aver- 
age expenditure of $6.16 a week for 
those families making any such expend- 
iture. Of the urban families in the sur- 
vey, 72 percent spent money for food 
away from home during a week with 


an average expenditure of $9.42 a fam- The age groups which need special 

ily. Interestingly enough, almost the emphasis are teenage girls and women 

same proportion of the total expendi- and older men. 

ture was for between-meal food and They need assistance in selecting 

drink for the two population groups — foods which will provide increased 

25 percent for farm families and 22 amounts of calcium, iron, and several 

percent for urban. vitamins. 

Foods needed are those stressed in 

The information presented in this the USDA's Daily Food Guide — milk 

chapter shows that, on the average, and milk products; meat, poultry, 

diets in the United States are good, but and fish, eggs, dry beans, peas, and 

that some groups are not doing as well nuts; enriched and whole grain bread 

as others. Some low-income families and cereal products; and vegetables 

need help in extending their purchas- and fruits, especially those rich in 

ing power — through food assistance vitamin A and ascorbic acid, 

programs and education programs that Most age groups need guidance in 

help them make better use of existing selecting foods that are not overly rich 

incomes. Many higher income families so that the proportion of calories de- 

also need guidance in meeting their rived from fat in the diet is kept to a 

nutritional needs from the great abun- moderate level — at least below 40 per- 

dance of foods available. cent of the total calories. 

Average Amounts of Food Eaten in One Day by Men and Women 20 to 34 Years of Age 

Spring 1965 

Food (as served) Unit Men Women 

Milk and milk products: 

Milk, milk drinks cups 

Cream, ice cream cups 

Cheese ounces. 

Eggs each 

Meat, poultry, fish: 

Beef ounces. 

Pork ounces. 

Other meat ounces. 

Poultry ounces. 

Fish, shellfish ounces. 

Mixtures ounces. 

Legumes, nuts 

Legumes, mixtures tablespoons. 


ts, nut butter tablespoons 

Grain products: 

Bread, rolls, biscuits slices 

Other baked goods ounces 

Cereals, pastes ounces 

Mixtures ounces 

Tomatoes, citrus fruits: 

Tomatoes cups 

Citrus fruit cups 

Dark green and deep yellow vegetables tablespoons 

Potatoes cups 

Other vegetables and fruit: 

Other vegetables cups 

Other fruit cups 

Sugars, sweets: 

Sugar teaspoons 

Sirup, honey, molasses teaspoons 

Jelly, jam, gelatin desserts teaspoons 

Candy ounces 

Fats, oils: 

Table fats tablespoons 

Other fats, oils tablespoons. . . . 

Beverages other than milk, juices, and alcoholic 

Tea 6-ounce cups. . . 

Coffee 6-ounce cups 

Soft drinks 12-ounce bottle. 







1 /2 

v i 








23 i 




2 1 



Audrey C. Burkart 

Smarten Up 
and Snack 
Right! Here's 
How to Do It 

Each year we Americans pop into our 
mouths the equivalent of $2 billion 
worth of potato chips, pretzels, nuts, 
corn chips, puffed snacks, crackers, 
spreads, and other snacks. 

The 1965 Household Food Consumption 
Survey conducted by the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture showed that we 
ate 83 percent more potato chips than 
in 1955. That means our potato chip 
consumption increased nearly five times 
the percentage increase in our popula- 
tion (17 percent). Other snack foods 
that showed an increase were carbon- 
ated and noncarbonated soft drinks, 
along with punches, crackers, donuts, 
and candy. 

The National Soft Drink Association 
reports that in 1966 the average Amer- 
ican drank almost 18 gallons of drinks 
such as cola, root beer, fruit-flavored 
beverages, etc. In 1960, 20 million 
cases of dietetic soft drinks were pro- 
duced. By 1966 the number spiraled 
to more than 400 million cases, and 
who can guess what the future will 

It has been predicted that we will 
have more leisure time in the future 
and if this becomes a reality, the im- 
portance and popularity of snack foods 

will probably increase, too. Of course, 
if we are not relaxing we are usually 
in a hurry trying to keep appointments 
and get things done. Here again snacks 
and snack type eating have come in 

The point is that snacks have become 
part of our food pattern. Snacks are 
associated with happiness, fun, good 
times, socializing, and enjoyment. They 
can also be associated with unwanted 
and unnecessary calories, spoiled ap- 
petites, and "binge" eating in response 
to frustration and insecurity. 

Let's think about the foods you ate 
yesterday. How many foods were part 
of a regular meal? For example, the 
sweet roll or peanut butter cracker 
sandwich you had during the coffee 
break at the office or at home after 
everyone had left for the day. The soft 
drink you had at 3 p.m. with just one 
cookie. Remember last night as you 
were watching TV? What was on the 
table next to you? Maybe potato chips 
or pretzels. And when you went 
shopping, didn't you buy a candy bar 
to munch as you drove home to prepare 
the family's dinner? Last but not 
least, on what have you always prided 
yourself when you were entertaining 
guests? Could it be tuna-stuffed puffed 

To say all snacks are "bad" would 
be like saying there is only one way 
to cook potatoes. The contributions 
that snacks can make to the daily food 
pattern in energy, protein, vitamins 
and minerals can only be judged after 
one learns how they are being used 
and what kinds of foods are being 
discussed. For example, is the beverage 
a substitute for a more nutritious one 
like milk, or is the food part of an 
already good meal pattern like an ice 
cream dessert at 8 p.m. while watching 
TV? A snack can include anything 
from a pizza "with everything" to 
potato chips, or from a thick milkshake 
to a cup of bouillon. 

Audrey C. Burkart is an Assistant Specialist in 
Foods and Nutrition, New Jersey Cooperative 
Extension Service, College of Agriculture and En- 
vironmental Science, Rutgers University — The 
State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. 


Let's find out the role snacks can 
play in the lives of many Americans. 

What about the higher calorie snack 
foods like donuts, pastries, candies, 
and soft drinks? Are they forbidden? 
No, just as long as (1) they do not 
replace those foods that are needed by 
the body such as meat, milk, fruit, 
vegetables, and enriched bread and 
(2) the added calories do not con- 
tribute to a weight control problem. 

The preschool child is growing, but 
not as fast as he did during his first 
year of life. Because of this, he may 
show a decreased interest in eating, 
much to his parents' dismay. But he is 
still growing, and he is taking an 
interest in things going on around 
him. He is an imitator. During this 
period of life, he will be introduced to 
the family's meal pattern, which will 
probably become his own. So it is 
very important he starts on the "right 
foot," and that means the snacks he 
eats as well. Whether or not he is 
given a mid-morning and a mid- 
afternoon snack should be determined 
by his growth needs and his appetite 
at mealtimes, not just to develop the 
habit of eating between meals or as a 
"reward" for being a "good" boy. 

If snacks are served, they should be 
small in size so his appetite will not be 
dulled for the next meal. Perhaps your 
child eats better if he is given a little 
at a time. Then the snack may include 
foods not eaten at mealtime, such as 
his breakfast orange juice, a great 
source of vitamin C, or milk, so good 
in calcium and protein. Keeping his 
lunch or dinner dessert until mid- 
morning and evening respectively can 
solve many problems, too. 

If your preschooler is a good eater 
at mealtime, any snack should still be 
counted as a part of his overall meal 

The preschool child usually enjoys 
raw fruits and vegetables like a wedge 
of pared apple, a cube of cantaloup 
(another good source of vitamin C), or 
a carrot stick (a tasty way to enjoy 
some vitamin A). Oatmeal cookies 
with raisins are tasty and a good source 
of iron, too. All these foods can help 


the child develop his chewing ability, 
and supply some necessary roughage 
besides helping to fulfill his need for 
energy, vitamins, and minerals. 

Overly sweet cakes, cookies, and 
candy should be avoided since they 
tend to dull the appetite and promote 
development of a "sweet tooth." Many 
authorities agree that the road to over- 
weight begins here, so this is another 
good reason to make sure the snacks 
given are not above and beyond the 
child's energy needs and that they be 
considered part of his overall meal 

A child attending nursery school is 
in a whole new world. To begin with, 
his mother is no longer present to tell 
him what to do, breakfast is at an 
earlier hour, and he now has the 
companionship of others while playing 
and eating. 

The mid-morning snack for the 
nursery school child is important to 
prevent fatigue. It provides needed 
energy and may help prevent lunch- 
time problems when the child is over- 
tired. Since there may be a long time- 
span between lunch and dinner at 
home, a mid-afternoon snack might be 
in order. 

The kinds of foods enjoyed by chil- 
dren of this age include vitamin C-rich 
fruits such as orange sections, canta- 
loup, or citrus juices including orange 
or blended orange and grapefruit 
juices. Pared and unpared apples and 
dried fruits are other taste treats. 

Raw vegetables like carrot sticks, 
celery curls, turnip slices, and green 
pepper sticks (another good source of 
vitamins A and C) are also very well 
received. Graham crackers, toast sticks 
made with enriched bread, and plain 
or hard whole wheat crackers are 
favorites, too. 

There are times when the mother of 
a nursery school child may complain 
that her child picks at his dinner after 
school. It may be he is overly tired, or 
should not have a mid-afternoon snack. 
The nursery school teacher and the 
parents should always be in touch so 
this kind of problem does not become 
a hardship for the child. 

Milk and oatmeal cookies make a nutritious 
afternoon snack for an elementary school child. 

The world of many elementary 
schoolchildren includes that wondrous 
thing called an allowance. And after 
all, what could be greater fun than 
buying something with your very own 
money? Unfortunately, when it comes 
to food, this is frequently of the "junk" 
variety. Help your child select foods 
that contribute more than just calories. 
A piece of fruit or a container of milk 
or ice cream might be good. 

If your child does not buy his own 
snacks, you can be sure he will come 
home hungry after school. Here, as 
with the younger child, the size of the 
snack should not be so large that it 
dulls the appetite for dinner. If you 
have a child this age, why not try one 
of the following energy-, protein-, 
vitamin-, and mineral-packed after- 
noon snacks: peanut butter with 
crackers, half of a cheese sandwich, a 
cold leg of cooked chicken, a small 
glass of milk with a cookie, fresh 
fruit, or raw vegetables? The energy- 
packed dried fruits such as apricots, 
an excellent source of vitamin A, or 
prunes and raisins, both good sources 
of iron, are ideal foods to satisfy the 
"sweet tooth." To some children on a 
cold winter's day, a cup of hot soup 
hits the spot and tides them over until 

dinner. In short, make your children's 
snacks work for them. 

To the teenager, food in general and 
snacks in particular are a way of life ! 
The proverbial "hollow leg" seems to 
apply to many since this is a period of 
rapid growth. Yet many teenagers are 
reported as falling short of the mark 
where nutrition is concerned. 

The teen years are a time of striving 
for independence, concern for physical 
appearance, and desire to conform to 
the peer group. All these characteris- 
tics are reflected in food patterns. 

Studies have shown that teenagers 
tend to skip meals (and not always 
just breakfasts, either) and to consume 
many snacks. Some studies indicate 
girls tend to snack more than boys, 
although other studies show no such 
relationship. A 1966 study of 122 
teenagers showed that boys and girls 
had different snack preferences. The 
boys tended to enjoy in this order 
of popularity the following foods for 
snacks : ( 1 ) cereals and breads, (2) pie, 
cake, pastry, and cookies, (3) soft 
drinks, (4) milk, (5) fruit, (6) eggs, 
meat, and cheese, (7) ice cream, 
(8) candy, (9) potato chips, and 
(10) vegetables. 

In contrast, the girls enjoyed in 
order of preference: (1) pie, cake, 
pastry, and cookies, (2) candy, (3) 
fruit, (4) cereals and breads, (5) ice 
cream, (6) soft drinks, (7) milk, (8) 
eggs, meat, and cheese, (9) potato 
chips, and (10) vegetables. It was also 
noted that the types of snack foods 
selected had little or no relation to 
amount of body fat in either the girls 
or the boys. 

Other studies have shown that girls 
tended to snack more frequendy than 
boys. Girls were figure conscious. Un- 
fortunately, to achieve their goal of a 
slender figure they frequendy selected 
foods that contained litde more than 
calories. They also showed a tendency 
to skip meals. Since girls are faced 
with a greater possibility than their 
mothers of having a child early in life, 
it is imperative that they now learn to 
eat those foods that can help prepare 
them for the future. 


Snacking— a teenager's delight. 

Since meal skipping and high-calorie 
snacks have been found popular with 
the teenagers, why not "jump on the 
bandwagon" by helping them to enjoy 
more nutritious snacks. How? By 
having the refrigerator stocked with 
the right "makings." For example, 
three snack favorites include pizza, 
hotdogs, and hamburgers. All three 
are sources of protein, vitamins, and 
minerals. So why not have some salad 
fixings like carrots, celery, and green 
peppers in addition to citrus fruit 
"conspicuously available" next to the 
meats. If you the homemaker, some- 
times called the "gatekeeper" of the 
food, have these foods available and 
do a little prompting, not preaching, 
they will be used. Teenagers want to 
be healthy and attractive, and getting 
the point across that the right snacks 
can help them attain their goal can 
be very effective. 

The same approach can be used 
where beverages are concerned. Cola 


beverages need not be oudawed, but 
you can spark an interest in serving 
something different by putting a 
blender into operation to make some 
luscious and cooling milkshakes, either 
plain or with fruit. Ice cream specials 
are usually well rated by teenagers. 
Would you be surprised to learn that 
both boys and girls pride themselves 
on being good hosts and hostesses to 
their friends? They do ! 

Does your teenager enjoy cooking 
outdoors? Fine. Here is another oppor- 
tunity to help him learn to take care 
of himself and become a good host. 
Let him try serving kabobs to his 
friends. Made with a less expensive 
cut of beef, cubed, and skewered 
along with green pepper and toma- 
toes, they are sure to please. On this 
one skewer you will find energy, pro- 
tein, and vitamins A and C. Just what 
a teenager needs ! If hamburger is the 
choice, stimulate interest in serving a 
colorful salad alongside, like a tossed 
green salad or cole slaw. A sparkling 
fruit punch which bubbles with the 
addition of ginger ale, and served from 
a pitcher, can be a taste treat. Cold 
milk, either whole or skimmed (both 
good sources of calcium), is enjoyed by 
most teenagers, so always have it 

For a smaller snack, grilled cheese 
sandwiches or chili buns are fun to 
make and eat. Cheese snacks are a 
good choice for the nonmilk drinker. 

A snack breakfast could very well 
solve the problem of your morning 
sleepyhead. Have a meat or cheese 
sandwich ready or else pack him an 
extra sandwich to take on the school- 
bus. The traditional breakfast orange 
juice can be obtained just as well from 
a whole orange that is packed with 
the sandwich. 

To be sure, most teenagers can eat 
a big snack an hour before mealtime 
and then sit down to a full dinner. 
This is fine if his body needs it, and 
if he is active enough to use the calo- 
ries. Today, however, many busy 
teenagers are not physically active, 
and these are the ones who have an 
overweight problem. To help them 

over this hump, have some of the 
lower calorie snack foods available, 
like fresh fruit, gelatin desserts, and 
puddings made with skimmed milk. 
For those who should gain weight, 
the thick milkshake, pie alamode, and 
nuts are the thing. 

Would it be a shock if I told you that 
adults are not perfect in their eating 
habits either? The morning coffee 
break is a case in point. Frequendy 
this consists of a cup of coffee with or 
without sugar and milk, and possibly 
a sweet bun. For many, this is more 
than just a mid-morning break. It is 
breakfast and a poor one at that. 

Calories are high, but little else 
often is contributed in the way of 
protein, vitamins, and minerals. How 
much better it would be if the cafe- 
terias and mobile coffee carts were 
stocked, in addition to coffee, with 
oranges, orange and tomato juice, 
milk, individually wrapped cheese 
wedges (another way to get calcium), 
portion-packaged enriched ready-to- 
eat cereals, and cottage cheese with 
fruit. Having something different to 
stimulate interest in more nutritious 
snacks can help adults, too. 

Homemakers are busy people, and 

many do not take time to sit down to 
eat. Snacks such as cookies and other 
munchables can become a mainstay 
during the day. All too frequently you 
watch, much to your horror, the 
bathroom scales soar to new heights. 
If you don't sit down for a complete 
breakfast or lunch, use the "missed" 
foods for your snacks. In the long run 
you may be "eating" fewer calories 
and if the foods are carefully selected, 
you will be fulfilling your food needs. 

Snacking rates very high with many 
senior citizens primarily because snacks 
are convenient and frequendy associ- 
ated with a social occasion, like having 
visitors. A survey made in one Iowa 
county revealed that those over 75 
years of age snacked less than those in 
their early 60's. The foods most fre- 
quendy listed were cookies or breads. 
Coffee, tea, and Postum were also 
listed, while milk was more popular 
with people living in cities than in 
rural areas. 

A survey made in Rochester, N.Y., 
of a selected group of beneficiaries of 
old-age survivors and disability insur- 
ance revealed that, based upon nutri- 
ent relationships, milk and the other 
dairy products and fruits were very 

Snacks can be a nutritional asset or liability. 


popular between-meal foods. Over- 
weight, denture, and digestive prob- 
lems are frequendy found in the older 
age group. In many cases, the appetite 
and the interest in food is irregular. 

Depending on the physical condi- 
tion of the individuals, the following 
kinds of snack foods can help fulfill 
their nutritional needs: cooked and 
canned fruit, fruit juices, calcium and 
protein foods like eggnogs, custards, 
and puddings. 

Open-faced sandwiches using 
cooked ground beef, tender cooked 
chicken slices, or other favorite and 
available meat "fillings" can be a fun 
way of getting some protein. 

To the person watching his weight, 
every calorie must count. Frequent 
snacking of high calorie foods or larger 
servings of a reduced calorie food such 
as candies and cookies made with sugar 
substitutes or dry roasted nuts, may 
help you defeat your own purpose. 
This means you should take advantage 
of the many lower calorie, appetizing 
foods that make excellent festive snacks. 
Many of your friends will be happy to 
know that while you are watching your 
party calories you are helping them do 
the same. Here are a few party snack 
ideas. Check your favorite cookbook 
for recipes. 

Fruit and vegetable ideas for drink- 
ing, nibbling, and dipping : Cranberry- 
pineapple cocktail; orange-grapefruit 
juice with mint sprig; vegetable juice 
"on the rocks"; hot tomato-bouillon in 

All set for a dip-in. 

mugs; fruit kabobs made of pineapple 
wedges, banana slices, cherries — for a 
dip, try a french dressing; garnish 
tray including — radish roses, carrot 
curls, marinated cauliflower, stuffed 
cucumber, stuffed mushroom, and 
stuffed celery; for dippers try — carrot 
sticks, cauliflower florets, turnip sticks, 
strawberries, cooked shrimp. 

Meat, fish, and egg ideas : Miniature 
meat balls on toothpicks; meat slice 
cornucopias around cheese sticks ; ham 
roll-ups with cottage cheese spiced 
with onion soup mix as a filling; 
cooked shrimp and olives on tooth- 
pick; deviled eggs; open-faced sand- 
wiches using rye or wheat wafers and 
topped with thin slices of meat — 
garnish, with pimiento, green pepper, 
or parsley. 

Milk and cheese ideas: Cheese tray 
including cheddar cubes, Edam, Swiss; 
cheese ball; yogurt dip excellent for 
such fruit dippers as strawberries, 
melon slices, etc. ; milk coolers. 

Throughout this article, three points 
have been repeatedly emphasized in 
the snack suggestions given: (1) snacks 
should be selected to supply the body 
with vitamins, minerals, and possibly 
protein, in addition to energy, (2) all 
snacks must be considered as a part 
of the total day's food intake if they 
are to be to your advantage without 
contributing to such health problems 
as being overweight, and (3) snacks 
should not interfere with the appetite 
for the next meal. 


Helen Denning Ullrich 

Food Planning 
for Families at 
3 Different 
Cost Levels 

You can feed your family nutritionally 
adequate meals at widely different 
costs. If you want to prepare a basic 
mixture of soy and wheat flour, dry 
milk powder, vegetable oil, and some 
purified , vitamins and minerals, you 
can feed your family for only a few 
cents a day. Most American families, 
however, take pride in choosing among 
the wide variety of foods found in our 
grocery stores. 

In March of 1969 it was estimated 
that a family of four with two school- 
age children could be adequately fed 
for one week on a $28.80 low-cost 
food plan, a $36.90 moderate-cost food 
plan, and a $45.10 liberal plan. Your 
own grocery bills may be larger than 
these costs. The figures quoted include 
only food eaten at home or carried in 
lunches from the home food supply. 

You should have a plan in mind 
when food shopping. Careful planning 
will bring more satisfaction and variety 
from the food you choose. By planning 
meals, you can ensure that they include 
foods from the four basic food groups. 
This may not mean deciding on the 
precise menu for Wednesday's or Fri- 
day's dinner, but merely making a 
general plan for the week. The other 

members of the family may also enjoy 
planning some of the meals. The kinds 
and amounts of food that you buy will 
depend on how often you shop and 
how much refrigerator, freezer, and 
general storage space you have. 

A family food plan should include 
certain basic foods to provide for quick 
meals, emergencies, and unexpected 
company. These staples and supplies 
will vary according to available stor- 
age space and family food preferences. 

Good shopping habits save time and 
money, and reduce impulse buying. 
Make a list of needed items, allowing 
for adjustments and for substitutions. 
Check the newspaper ads and take 
advantage of specials. Some stores ad- 
vertise specials good for part of the 
week; others feature discount prices. 
Some offer quality, service, conven- 
ience, and stamps. Compare prices. 
Know what you are paying for. 

Consider the family eating patterns 
when you buy food. Packed lunches, 
or irregular meal hours, or frequent 
snacks require special planning. When 
meal patterns vary from the normal 
three a day, it takes special care to 
ensure that foods from the daily food 
guide are included. Such foods as 
crackers, potato chips, pastries, soft 
drinks, and punches can add con- 
siderably to your food budget while 
contributing litde besides calories to 
the nutritive value of the diet. 

The cost of food does not reflect its 
nutritive value. Hamburger and high- 
priced steak have about the same food 
value. Each family has to decide how 
much it wishes to budget for food. A 
budget close to the USDA low-cost 
plan does not allow for many frills. 
It requires skill in buying, storing, and 
preserving food to insure that the 
family is nutritionally well fed. 

Most partially prepared foods cost 
more than foods that require all the 
preparation at home, and fewer of 
them are included in low-cost food 

Helen Denning Ullrich is Associate Specialist 
in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley. She is also project 
director and editor of the Journal of Nutrition 


budgets. When the homemaker is 
busy outside the home, however, she 
may find the time saved by partially 
prepared foods worth the extra money. 

Setting a price limit for the dinner 
main dish is helpful — for example, $1 
for a family of four with a low-cost 
budget, or $1.50 to $2 on a more 
liberal budget. The vegetables (other 
than potatoes) and desserts, respec- 
tively, might cost not over 25 to 30 
cents for the low-cost budget. Check 
your food plan and decide your own 
price limits. Fluctuation in such items 
can unbalance a tight budget. 

The average family will spend about 
half its food budget for milk, meat, and 
eggs, about a fifth on fruits and vege- 
tables, and the rest for all other food 
purchases. On a low-cost budget, more 
is usually expended for cereal, milk 
products, and eggs, and less for meat. 
Each family will spend differently for 
food, depending on its needs, and the 
homemaker's time, equipment, skills, 
and energy. In some families, several 
members may share the meal planning, 
marketing, cooking, and serving. This 
also influences the food budget. 

A listing of needed items, a week's menu, and 
newspaper ads are useful in planning a shop- 
ping list. At grocery store, adjust plans to 
take advantage of specials. 

In planning meals for the family, 
choose foods from each of the four 
basic food groups — meat, milk, fruit- 
vegetable, and bread-cereal — accord- 
ing to the family needs. Costs vary 
widely for foods within each group. 

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dried 
beans, and nuts are important protein 
foods. Most families spend more than 
a third of each food dollar for foods in 
this group. The lean meat of steak, 
roast, stew, and ground meat has 
the same nutritive value. Because the 
amount of bone, gristle, and fat 
varies in the different cuts of meat, the 
price per serving must be figured for 
the edible portion in a pound of meat. 
The following is a general guide to the 
number of 3-ounce servings of cooked 
lean meat per pound: Much bone 
or gristle — 1 or 2 servings; medium 
amount of bone — 2 or 3 servings; little 
or no bone — 3 or 4. 

Poultry contributes the same high- 
quality protein, minerals, and vitamins 
to the diet as does meat. To compare 
costs of whole, cut-up, and selected 
parts of poultry, divide the price per 
pound by the percentage of edible 
meat. Whole and cut-up birds con- 
tain 51 percent edible meat; legs and 
thighs, 53 percent; breast, 63 percent; 
wings, 50 percent; and backs, 42 per- 
cent. If whole chickens sell for 39 cents 
per pound, the cost per pound of meat 
is 78 cents. 

Like meat, fish is a good source of 
protein. Costs of fish vary widely. The 
popular shellfish are the most expen- 
sive; canned tuna is often the least 
expensive. Nutritive value is about the 
same in most kinds of fish. 

Nuts are also an excellent source of 
protein. Peanuts and peanut butter are 
the only items in this group that are in 
the low-cost range. UnsheUed nuts cost 
less than shelled and processed nuts. 
Some types, like walnuts, pecans, and 
almonds, are used in prepared foods 
to give texture and flavor. 

Two eggs will provide about the 
protein equivalent to a serving of meat. 
They are also an excellent source of 
iron. Grade, size, and color of eggs do 
not affect the food value, but do in- 

fluence the price. Choose the grade 
and size to fit your needs and budget. 
In March 1969 pricing, two grade 
A large eggs were about two-thirds the 
cost of 4 ounces of regular ground beef. 
Dried beans, peas, and lentils, as 
another good source of protein, may 
often be served in combination with 
some animal protein for the main dish. 
These foods are inexpensive, but they 
do take a long time to cook. Canned 
cooked beans are timesavers and also 
a good buy. 

Milk and the other dairy products 
supply most of the calcium in the 
American diet in addition to their 
protein content. Cost of milk varies, 
depending on whether it is obtained 
from a grocery store, a special milk 
depot, or by home delivery. Half 
gallons and gallons generally cost less 
than quarts. 

Nonfat dry milk is the least expensive 
form and is low in calorie content. 
Evaporated milk, which is also more 
economical than fresh whole milk, 
has about the same number of calories 
when diluted. Many families save con- 
siderably by using some nonfat dry 
milk in combination with fluid whole 
milk; while others use the reconstituted 
type almost entirely. When the dry 
milk and water are mixed well in 
advance and the milk is allowed to 
chill in the refrigerator, it is very 
satisfactory. If you use nonfat milk 
which is not enriched with vitamin A, 
you should include additional amounts 
of dark-green and deep-yellow vege- 
tables in the diet to replace the vitamin 
A which is removed from the whole 
milk with the fat. 

Compare prices carefully on cheeses. 
Bulk cheese is usually the best buy, 
but not always. If your family uses 
any sizable quantities, a large brick of 
process cheese may well be the most 

Imitation dairy products are often 
available at a lower price than the 
natural product. But when comparing 
prices, be sure that products are also 
comparable in nutritive value. 

The vegetable-fruit group can re- 
flect great cost differences depending 


upon the season of the year, or the 
abundance and popularity of the food, 
and whether it is fresh, canned, frozen, 
dehydrated, or specially prepared. 

Fruits and vegetables rich in vita- 
mins A and C should be included on 
every shopping list whether for a low, 
moderate, or a liberal budget. They 
offer more food value for your money. 

Four servings of vegetables and 
fruits should be eaten every day. You 
should serve foods rich in vitamin C 
daily, and those high in vitamin A at 
least every other day. Choose from 
potatoes and other fruits and vege- 
tables to complete the four servings. 

Canned and frozen fruits and vege- 
tables are about equal to fresh in food 
value. Some fruits and vegetables are 
available fresh almost the year round, 
and the price varies only slightly. 
Others have a peak season when the 
supply is greatest and the price usually 
lowest. Compare prices of fresh, fro- 
zen, and canned products when de- 
ciding on the best buy. Because there 
is waste in fresh fruits and vegetables, 
figure the price per serving when you 
compare prices. 

In addition to many choices of fruit 
juices, today's market offers products 
made to taste like fruit juices. If you 
are buying a beverage as a source of 
vitamin C, be sure it contains enough 
to provide the family needs. Compare 
costs on the reconstituted volume. Cost 
of the substitute juice may be the same 
as or slightly less than that of the 
natural juice. Then consider the other 
nutrients contained in the natural 
juice, and compare the flavor, conven- 
ience, and enjoyment of the product 
when you make your decision. 

Potatoes provide calories and some 
of the nutrients in your meals inex- 
pensively. A low-cost budget will in- 
clude more potatoes than will the 
moderate or liberal budgets. Dehy- 
drated and frozen potatoes, both very 
convenient products, have been used 
increasingly in the past few years. 
Still, the very popular instant mashed 
potatoes and frozen french-fried pota- 
toes are not yet as inexpensive as the 
medium-sized nonbaking potato. 


Plan four servings daily of whole 
grain, enriched, or restored breads 
and cereals. Foods in this group in- 
clude bread, cooked and ready-to-eat 
cereal, crackers, flour, cornmeal, grits, 
spaghetti, noodles, rice, macaroni, 
and baked goods such as muffins, 
biscuits, cakes, and cookies. If any of 
these products are not whole grain, 
enriched, or restored, they do not 
count as servings from this food group. 

A low-cost food plan will include 
more foods from the bread-cereal 
group than will a more moderate or 
liberal plan. Enriched cornmeal and 
wheat flour are probably the most 
economical choices in this food group. 
Many people find they can cut their 
budget by making their own biscuits, 
cornbread, and yeast bread. When 
the family is large, savings are con- 
siderable. Enriched and entire whole- 
wheat breads usually cost about the 
same per pound. The specialty types 
of breads, rolls, and prebaked, re- 
frigerated, and frozen goods are fre- 
quently not enriched and cost more. 

Breakfast cereals which require 
cooking are a good buy in nutrition 
and are usually less expensive than 
ready-to-eat cereals. Since almost all 
breakfast cereals are enriched, forti- 
fied, or whole grain, they contain B 
vitamins and iron. 

Ready-to-eat cereals come flaked, 
shredded, granulated, puffed, sweet- 
ened, and toasted. Through the de- 
velopment of freeze-drying it is now 
possible to combine many different 
kinds of fruit with cereals. Family 
preference plays a big part in choosing 
cereals. The influence of advertising, 
prize in the box, and the value of the 
boxtop affect the children's choice. 

First, read the label to see if the 
cereal is enriched. Then check the 
weight and price and cost per serving 
as box sizes can be misleading. The 
range of monthly costs for duierent 
types of cereal for a family of five, 
serving 1 ounce per person every day, 
is as follows: Cereal to be cooked — 
$2.20 to $4.61 ; ready-to-eat— $4.02 to 
$7.52; sugared— $5.36 to $7.71; in- 
dividual packages— $8.18 to $9.49. 

Cereals promoted as extra high in 
certain nutrients often are higher 
priced. Some of the sweetened cereals 
are not enriched with added nutrients. 
The macaroni family, which in- 
cludes spaghetti, egg noodles, vermi- 
celli, and pastina, as well as macaroni, 
is available in an amazing array of 
lengths, shapes, and sizes. Most but 
not all of these products are enriched. 
Read the label. Macaroni combines 
well with small amounts of meat, fish, 
poultry, cheese, and eggs to make 
nutritious, low-cost main dishes. When 
frills are added, like sour cream, mush- 
rooms, pimiento, and special cheeses, 
they become moderate- to liberal-cost 

While nonenriched, white milled 
rice may cost less than precooked or 
converted rice, it is much lower in 
food value and therefore may not be 
a bargain. 

With the present interest in the un- 
saturated fats, many new fat and oil 
products with wide price ranges have 
appeared on the market. Margarines 
requiring no refrigeration are the least 
costly. Often the store's own brand is 
the lowest price in this group. Next 
come the softer refrigerated margarines 
and then the whipped types. Butter is 
usually higher priced than margarine. 
Vegetable oils also have a rather 
wide price range. Olive oil is the 
highest in price; next are the single 
vegetable oils, like safflower and corn; 
and lowest in price are the products 
called vegetable or salad oil, which 
may be a mixture of many different 
vegetable oils. 

When foods are in limited supply, as 
at the beginning or end of the season, 
the price is usually higher. This is also 
true if the supply is limited as a result 
of crop failure, or if fewer animals are 
being raised. 

Foods in low or limited demand are 
usually high in price — for example, 
artichokes, avocados, and papayas. 
Foods grown only in certain localities 
are sometimes higher. Dates grown in 
the desert areas of California and 
cranberries grown in the bogs of New 
England and Wisconsin, however, are 



i run mi 

... ,,miUV 

Choose package size that best suits family 
needs. Read labels for information on nutritive 
value, weight, and price. Compare prices per 

enough in popular demand to result 
in a moderate price. 

Popular interest in such foods as 
duckling and guinea hens is limited. 
Those foods are used only for special 
occasions even on a liberal-cost budget. 

Food in the large-size container is 
generally less costly per pound than in 
the small size. If the large size fits the 
family needs and storage space, it can 
save a nice amount in the family food 
budget. A large size may be too much, 
however, for a small family. 

Most of the fresh foods in the market 
today are of good quality. Fancy or 
prime quality food is the most expen- 
sive. Poor quality fresh fruits and 
vegetables can be a poor buy because 
blemished, bruised portions must be 
discarded. The nutritive value may 
also have diminished. Nutritive value 
of the different grades of meat, fish, 
and poultry does not change, but the 
lower grades may require more prep- 
aration. Use the lower grade canned 
fruits and vegetables when they are 
going to be cut up or cooked in cas- 
seroles or mixtures and the like. 


Specialty items like packaged beef 
stroganoff, frozen shrimp cocktail, 
cheesecake mixes, and canned pickled 
artichokes are convenient but usually 
more expensive than when prepared 
at home. Popular foods such as frozen 
orange juice concentrate, canned con- 
centrated soups, the powdered coffees, 
canned spaghetti, and yellow and 
devil's-food cake mixes are usually 
less expensive than the similar fresh 
or home-prepared foods. 

Advances in food processing provide 
new convenience foods on the grocer's 
shelves almost daily. As the demand for 
these foods builds up, cost of produc- 
tion can be lowered. The concentrated, 
frozen, and canned fruit and vegetables 
may be less expensive because there is 
less waste and weight to transport and 
handle than with the fresh product. 
Removing water and discarding inedi- 
ble portions of the food reduces the 
bulk weight, and the perishability. 
The resulting efficiency is reflected in 
reduced costs. 

Highly perishable convenience foods 
like the ready-to-eat baked products 
can cost up to twice as much as the 
home-prepared products. Expensive 
packaging, frequent replacement, and 
a rather large variety add to marketing 
costs. Consider other factors in addi- 
tion to price when trying to decide 
whether a convenience food is a good 
choice. Preparation time and effort 
can be a major item. For example, 
frozen beef stew needs only to be 
heated. Preparation time for the same 
stew made from scratch, in the home, 
would be about 40 minutes plus about 
2 hours of cooking time. If a money 
value is put on the preparation time 
at home, the frozen stew would be 
cheaper. The necessary defrosting and 
cooking time for frozen food may not 
be a timesaver when a meal is to be 
served in a hurry. It may be faster to 
broil hamburgers, warm a can of peas, 
and prepare instant mashed potatoes 
than to heat up a frozen dinner. 

In some cases the quality of the 
home-prepared product may be con- 
sidered better. For example, it may 
contain larger quantities of the high- 


priced items like meat. The quality 
differences may or may not be impor- 
tant to the individual. 

Most of the convenience foods now 
list the number and the size of servings 
on the package. Use this information 
to compare prices between the fresh, 
partly prepared, or entirely prepared 
product which may be fresh, dried, 
canned, or frozen. Often a new con- 
venience food is placed in the grocery 
store at a promotion or introductory 
price, which can be a sizable saving. 

You can prepare your own conven- 
ience foods. Make your own basic 
dough, pie crust, and cookie mix. 
Prepare extra quantities of a recipe 
and freeze part of it. A large cut of 
meat can be cut into steaks, roast, 
and stew meat — each section frozen 
for future needs. Canning and freezing 
foods when they are in plentiful supply 
means part of the preparation is 
already done. It can be a big saving 
to your food budget, if you have the 
needed time. 

Nutritive value of the menus is 
about the same. It is typical that the 
liberal budget food pattern is also a 
higher calorie pattern. The calorie 
needs can be adjusted, however, by 
making the size of the serving either 
larger or smaller. (See menus, p. 285.) 

The same food is often suggested on 
different menus but in a different 
form. Garnishes like pickles, olives, 
and potato chips add only cost and 
calories and little nutritive value. The 
low-calorie soft drinks contribute only 
to the cost. When frozen concentrate 
lemonade (1 quart) is 16 cents, a 
6-ounce serving is 3 cents, compared 
with 5 to 10 cents for most soft drinks. 
The low-cost menu was planned to 
include more vitamin A-rich vege- 
tables to replace vitamin A lacking 
in unenriched dry nonfat milk. 

Cost of protein-rich foods varies 
from the relatively inexpensive peanut 
butter to moderate-priced bologna and 
expensive sliced, boiled ham. Many 
families use bologna because they feel 
it is a low-cost meat. 

Meat combined with spaghetti paste 

A Day's Menu at Different Costs 


Orange juice (canned) 
Oatmeal with reconstituted 

nonfat milk 
Enriched white toast 
Reconstituted nonfat milk for 

Instant coffee 


Cream of tomato soup (made 
with dry nonfat milk) 

Peanut butter and raisin 
sandwich (enriched bread) 

Celery and carrot sticks 

Reconstituted nonfat milk for 

Instant coffee 


Oatmeal cookies 


Spaghetti with meat sauce 

Winter squash 

Bread pudding 
Reconstituted nonfat milk for 

Instant coffee 


Orange juice (frozen) 
Wheat flakes with whole milk 

Whole wheat toast 



Whole milk for children 


Dehydrated onion soup 

Bologna sandwich (enriched 

Head lettuce salad, thousand 

island dressing 
Whole milk 


Beef stew with potatoes, 

carrots, onions 
Tomato and lettuce salad with 



Whole milk for children 



Sliced oranges 
Sugarfrosted rice cereal with 

fruit and half-and-half 
Sweet rolls 

Whole milk for children 

Frozen tomato bisque 

Boiled ham on dark rye bread 

Deviled egg, pickles, olives, 

potato chips 
Whole milk for children 


Low-calorie soft drink 
Assorted butter cookies 

Standing rib roast 

Baked potato 

Zucchini, onion, and cheese 

Romaine salad with blue 

cheese dressing 

Toffee ice cream 
Whole milk for children 


contains less protein than stew and 
roast beef, but the protein in biscuits 
and bread pudding will make up the 

Deciding what foods to buy for the 
family depends upon many factors: 
family likes and dislikes; size of family 
and ages of family members; number 
of meals eaten at home; the kinds of 
meals — normal three meals a day 
versus irregular meal times, frequent 

snacks; the amount of money available 
for food; time available for shopping 
and for preparing food; skill in plan- 
ning, preparing, and in serving food; 
storage and cooking facilities; and 
who does most of the planning, pur- 
chasing, and cooking. 

Careful planning will result in good 
meals and a satisfied family. No two 
families will come out with the same 


Ellen H. Semrow 

Money Stretching 
Ideas for Making 
Your Food Dollar 
Go F-u-r-t-h-e-r 

A food dollar is precious. It purchases 
food to satisfy hunger. It brings famil- 
iar foods to the table where all can 
share in the warm, happy feeling that 
comes from enjoying food together. 
Used wisely, your food dollar can do 
all this and more. It can, with plan- 
ning, provide foods to help each family 
member, young and old, become the 
energetic and healthy individual that 
he wants to be. 

The person purchasing and serving 
food should know the value of every 
dollar. Although a certain amount of 
food money is placed in the pocket- 
book each week, some of it goes for 
away-from-home meals. And it may 
be called on to cover emergencies — a 
doctor or car repair bill; the purchase 
of new shoes. In that event, how to 
make the most of what is left calls for 
pennypinching with know-how. 

To have food in the refrigerator, in 
the cupboard, or on the pantry shelf 
and cash on hand means future meals. 
Planning can do much to bring about 
this security. 

Each family's plan is theirs alone. 
It changes as the family grows in num- 
ber and in years. It changes with the 
season, with prices for food. 


To have cash on hand, you may 
purchase food by the meal or by the 
day. Or you may purchase only the 
foods needed as you can afford them 
and round out the commodities you 
receive. Also, you may be forced to 
shop often because you share a kitchen 
or because the equipment and storage 
space do not fit your needs. 

Payday is shopping day for many. 
A family may spend a certain amount, 
trying to purchase food to last out the 
week. Because of tradition, another 
family may purchase expensive regional 
or imported items, adding other foods 
as dollars allow. 

Families far from shopping centers 
must have food supplies to last more 
than 2 weeks. Each trip costs money. 

Others can afford to pursue and 
purchase quantities of bargain-priced 
foods for future use. And those with 
gardens have a supply of fresh, canned, 
or frozen foods. 

Working homemakers purchase more 
convenience foods than stay-at-homes 
do. Often it is the children who shop, 
cook, and serve meals when mothers 
cannot be at home. For such families, 
teamwork in planning and doing is a 

To use food money well, first con- 
sider the food needs of every family 
member. Then weigh these against 
the dollars you have to spend. Get the 
most for the least by: 

• Picking from the plentiful foods in 
planning meals and snacks. 

• Shopping from a prepared list. 

• Spending the food money in stores 
stocking a wide variety of good foods, 
where the average price means lower 
grocery and meat bills for you week 
in and week out. 

One homemaker may plan weekly 
menus as she studies food advertise- 
ments. Another is so skilled she can see 
in her mind's eye each of the meals she 
will prepare for the family and guests, 

Ellen H. Semrow is Director, Consumer Service 
Department, of the American Institute of Baking, 
Chicago, III. 

making use of best buys. Both will have 
other choices in mind should they be 
disappointed in the "special offers" or 
discover that the supermarket is sold 
out of what they wanted. Both types of 
homemakers plan and use shopping 
lists as guides. Experience has taught 
them that this is a good way to save 
energy and money. 

How to Make a Shopping List: 

Jot down the needed items as food 
supplies run low. 

Inventory the refrigerator, freezer, 
and shelves. First, plan uses for your 

List the same kinds of foods and 
supplies together. 

Watch food advertisements. Foods 
in plentiful supply are at the peak of 
their quality and are reasonably priced. 

"Specials" may be closeouts, to be 
sold before the new crop or pack 
arrives at the store. 

Shop newspaper pages, compare all 
prices, the ones in small print as well 
as big offerings. 

Those caught in the low-income 
squeeze who cannot afford newspapers, 
and those who cannot read even the 
free advertisements, can by working 
together with others plan purchases 
and shopping trips. Sharing talents, 
experiences, and expenses is one way 
to obtain more for less. Community 
helpers may advise on the good" buys, 

show how to use new foods, organize 
shopping trips. They may make trans- 
portation available at cost. 

Place perishable and frozen foods 
last on your list. Purchase them just 
before "checking out." 

Be sure your shopping list contains 
the foods needed for each person, on 
each day. 

Do servings from the meat group 
total at least two? Include dry beans 
or peas, eggs, and cheese with meat. 

See that four or more servings of 
enriched or whole-grain breads and 
cereals are included. 

Servings of fruits and vegetables 
should add up to four. Include deep- 
green and yellow vegetables and vita- 
min C-rich fruits or juices. 

Plan for three to four cups of milk 
a day for children; two cups for adults. 
Include milk used in cooking. Cheese 
counts here. 

Total the food costs, omitting clean- 
ing and household supplies. If cuts 
are needed, start in trimming and 

Money-Saving Suggestions: 

Rethink meat. It takes about a third 
of the food allowance. Plan entrees 
around less-tender cuts. Pick those 
with the most meat to eat for money 
spent. If pig ears, snouts, and tails 
are used often, be sure to include 
additional red meat. Lunch meats are 

Cost per Serving of Commonly Used Fresh Pork Variety Meats* 

Price per pound in pennies 

34 37 

Retail cut Servings 19 21 24 29 31 


pound Cost per serving 

41 44 47 49 



Pig ears 

snouts. . . 

Hog fries... 

Hog maws. 

Pork liver. . 


Pork tails. . 

3 6+789+ 10+ 11+ 12+ 13 13+ 14+ 15+ 16+ 

2 9+ 10+ 12 14+ 15+ 17+ 18+ 19+ 20+ 22 23+ 24+ 
1 19 21 24 29 31 34 37 39 41 44 47 49 

•Information developed from personal interviews with packers, retailers, and public aid workers in the Chicago area, 1968. 


costly. Plan more large roasts and use 
some of the meat for sandwiches. Pass 
up chicken parts; cut up a whole bird. 
Use fish if the price pinch is less. 

Bulk cheese costs less per pound 
than sliced or grated cheese. 

Run in favorite recipes with stretch- 
power; extend the meat or fish with 
bread, rice, noodles, and pasta — spa- 
ghetti, macaroni, etc. 

Plan uses for dry beans and peas. 

Buy cereals that require cooking 
instead of ready-to-serve ones. 

Use vegetable shortening, marga- 
rine, and butter to thriftiest advantage. 

Scan luxury snacks such as potato 
chips, popped corn, corn puffs. Of 
this group, pretzels cost less per ounce. 
Private label brands and larger pack- 
ages normally cost less per ounce for 
like quality. 

Soft drinks cost less per ounce in 
returnable bottles than in disposable 
cans or bottles. Save on larger-sized 
bottles and lesser-known brands. 

Skip cosdy low-calorie, instant or 
convenience meal items. Example: 
Buttered toast spread with preserves 
is cheaper than fruit-filled popups. 

Choose from abundant and low-cost 
vegetables and fruit rather than from 
unusual or imported varieties. Buy 
the least expensive forms, whether 
fresh, frozen, or canned. Example: 
Root vegetables such as sweetpotatoes 
or white potatoes, turnips, carrots, 
and beets might take the place of 
Puerto Rican plantains, yautias, and 

Select lower grades wherever you 
can without losing appetite appeal 
and usefulness. An example: Grade B 
eggs can be used for baking and for 
some egg dishes. 

The locally grown beans, dried or 
canned, are cheaper than imported 

Select juices and drinks for vitamin 
C value. Rule out fruit-flavored choices 
supplying only sugar. 

Bread cubes and noodles give stretchpower to this Rosy Beef Romanoff. 

Substitute dried or evaporated milk 
for part of the fresh milk. 

If you have made every possible 
saving and still find yourself spending 
more than you should, replan the 
menus. Begin by cutting quantities of 
meat, poultry, and fish; vegetables 
and fruits less rich in vitamins A and 
C. Add more bread, cereals, potatoes, 
and dry beans and peas. Keep quanti- 
ties of milk and cheese, green and 
yellow vegetables, tomatoes, and citrus 
fruits and juices the same. 

With menus planned and shopping 
list ready, two more decisions need 
to be made — where to shop and how. 

Prices vary with store policy and 
location, even within the city. For 
savings, patronize a cash-and-carry 
store. Which one? Ask yourself these 

Does the store stock a wide variety 
of food? Is there a consumer adviser 
to help you? Does it offer value, 
quality, and freshness at lowest prices? 
Are the surroundings neat and clean? 

Are the fresh meat and produce 
counters filled with quality items, 
trimmed to reduce waste, and rea- 
sonably priced? Can you examine 
bagged produce? Is the added cost 
of feature games, stamps, check cash- 
ing services, and perhaps hot coffee, in 
addition to ample parking space, 
worth it to you? 

Shopping special offers means going 
from store to store. Consider transpor- 
tation, time, and energy. Such a trip 
may offset savings. You may fare 
better with one-store shopping where 
pricing policy and services suit your 
needs. Recheck prices often. Compare 
items with those advertised by com- 
petitors to be sure that you get your 
dollar's worth. 

Careful buyers can save even in 
times of a price pinch. Staples offer 
biggest savings: enriched flour, rice, 
and bread; margarine; sugar; and the 
simple convenience foods like some 
biscuit and cake mixes. Canned chicken 
soup and instant coffee are usually 
good buys. Plan your available kitchen 
time so you can save by cooking from 

Pointers for Pricers: 

Know the grades for food quality 
developed by the U.S. Department of 

Read labels and inspection stamps. 

Compare sale prices with the stock 
prices. Spotlighted product displays 
may suggest a bargain. Check the 
shelves. The featured price may be 
the usual price. Look for a competing 
product of the same size and quality. 
You may save here. 

Think about quality in terms of use. 
Why use fresh tomatoes when canned 
ones will do? 

Compare costs of various forms of 
food — fresh, instant, dried, frozen, or 
canned; enriched or unenriched. Buy 
the type which suits needs and food 
likes. Example: Frozen spinach, free 
from waste, may cost less per serving 
than fresh. Enriched bread costs no 
more than the unenriched kind. 

The seasonal food prices should be 
noted. Keep track of the trends. Buy 
when prices are down. Substitute when 
prices are up. 

Take advantage of private label 
items when the quality and price are 

Think of cost per serving or portion 
rather than price per pound, especially 
when it comes to meat. Cuts high in 
bone and fat cost more per person 
than cuts with little waste. Example: 
Spareribs versus rolled pork loin. 

Buy all cereal foods by the cost per 
ounce or pound. 

Buy foods that store well and in 
largest sized packages which can be 
used in a reasonable length of time 
and not hog shelf, freezer, or refriger- 
ator space. 

Judge values in fresh fruits and 
vegetables. Make your own selection, 
handpick whenever you can. Use 
thought and care in handling perish- 
ables. Adding to spoilage adds to costs. 

Do not buy merely because the 
price is low. Buy to suit your needs. 

Consider produce in season and 
grown nearby. 

Look for signs of decay, bruises, or 
blemishes. Choose only sound items. 

Select fruits such as apples, peaches, 


and melons for use, and thus reduce 
waste. Example: Why hand a huge 
apple to a small girl who can eat only 
a small apple? 

Small produce may be sold by 
measure. Check containers for loose 
pack; for fancy items on top, culls on 
the bottom. 

Develop the habit of doing mental 
arithmetic while you shop. For easy 
division, round out servings or ounces 
and prices and get approximate costs. 

Always shop from a list. Try to shop 
alone, when die store is not crowded. 
Impulse buying is less when one is not 
under pressure from prodding shop- 
ping carts and clamors for goodies. If 
children are along, they should be 
present at the checkout counter to 
learn firsthand that food costs money. 

If the man of the house does the 
shopping, then he should be in on prep- 
aration of the list. Children old enough 
to take part should be included. 

Be the consumer's best friend when 
you shop. Treat all merchandise you 
handle as if you were paying for it. 
Place unwanted goods back where they 
belong. Handle shopping carts with 
care. Any loss or damage to merchan- 
dise or property increases supermarket 
costs, costs for which the consumer 
always pays. 

Select packaged foods carefully. The 
packaging may be worth more than 
the contents. Examples: Individually 
wrapped or trayed cookies in special 
boxes, heat-and-eat dinners, imported 
foods like crackers and oatmeal in tins. 

Be sure all canned and packaged 
items are in good condition. Check 
milk cartons for dripping. Inspect but- 
ter cartons with care. Get what you 
pay for. Look at egg cartons for wet 
or dry egg solids. Open lid carefully. 
Don't buy if any eggs are cracked. 
Close properly. 

Check processing dates on all pack- 
ages carrying them. Buy those with 
the most recent datemark. 

Watch the scale. It should carry an 
inspection stamp showing it has been 
checked for accuracy. Be sure it regis- 
ters zero before item is weighed. Have 
weight checked on bagged produce. 


Watch the checker as your bill is 
rung up on the cash register. Follow 
each entry to be certain you are charged 
only for actual purchases and that 
prices are right. Ask for a "recount" 
if you feel an error has been made. 

With experience in planning and 
shopping you will learn that price 
alone does not always mean a best 
buy. You will know how to pick foods 
for their real value. 

Prompt and proper storage of food 
in the home saves food value, flavor, 
texture, and appearance. Spoilage and 
waste can undo savings. 

Foods that do not require refrigera- 
tion at all, or none until the package 
or can has been opened, keep best 
when tightly sealed and stored in a 
dry, cool spot away from light and 
heat. In hot, damp climates, some 
foods must be placed in covered con- 
tainers for protection. Keep only short 
supplies of these. Make certain that 
containers and shelves are clean. 

Refrigerator temperature should be 
35° F. to 45° F. To store, always cover 
or wrap foods to prevent moisture loss. 
Use most perishable items first. Left- 
overs won't be skipped if kept at front 
of shelves. 

Freezer temperatures should be zero 
or lower. The food taken from the 
freezer can be only as good as that 
which you put in, provided that it was 
wrapped properly and was not stored 
overlong. Freeze foods which mean 
real savings. All packages should be 
labeled with date, kind, and amount 
of food. Freeze only 2 pounds for 
each cubic foot of space every 6 hours. 
If you have a large freezer, jot down 
items and dates as you store. Scratch 
each package off the list upon removal, 
the oldest first. 

If meat is boned out, wrap and 
freeze the bones. When enough are on 
hand, make soup. 

If there is a special on ground beef 
in large packages, divide into portions 
before wrapping and freezing; some 
for meat sauce for spaghetti, some 
shaped into individual patties. 

Ham trimmings can stand short- 
time freezing. Use with greens. 

When ground beef has to show up 
on the family menu every other 
day, try Beef Balls Potpourri 
for variety. Ingredients include 
stuffing, a tomato sauce, thin 
slices of peeled cucumber, strips 
of green pepper, and onion rings. 

When you have to create meals 
from but few ingredients, using them 
more than once a day, sameness shows 
up fast. Ban monotony and waste 
through pennywise preparation. Dis- 
cover new ways with foods. You can 
learn how to make even third-time- 
around food far tastier by attending 
demonstrations or classes or by using 
tested recipes. 

• Peanut butter sandwich fillings can 
be different. Add applesauce, chili 
sauce, or orange juice and grated 
rind to it; enough to make it spread- 
able. Scones, hushpuppies, brownies, 
and fruit salad dressing can be made 
with peanut butter. 

• Flick bread slices in and out of an 
egg-milk mixture, coat slices with 
cornmeal or breadcrumbs, pan fry for 
new flavor and texture. 

• Cut biscuit dough and bread into dif- 
ferent shapes. Serve with new spreads. 
Cube or crumb bread trimmings. 

• Fry rice Chinese style and serve it 
under a blanket of hot, thick tomato 
sauce garnished with bits of fried ham 
or sausage and shredded Cheddar 

cheese. Or, layer hot rice, chopped 
ham, sour cream and shredded Ched- 
dar cheese in a baking dish, finishing 
off with cheese; bake in a hot oven 
for 10 minutes. 

Do not repeat flavors or colors on 
a menu — apple salad and apple pie, 
red beets and red cabbage. 

Too many strong aromas at any 
one meal, such as garlic, onion, and 
cabbage, can ruin appetites. 

Recipes are needed when you are 
learning to use strange foods. Intro- 
duce new dishes with this plan : Offer 
them at dinner, serving small portions 
along with familiar foods. Children 
tend to accept a new food if parents 
show they like it. 

Food wastage is less with the tested 
recipes. Preparation is easier, dishes 
are tastier, failures are fewer when 
measuring spoons and cups are used. 
Always measure dry ingredients with 
dry cups and spoons. Pots and pans of 
the right size are important, too. If 
you lack equipment, it helps to think 
about how to do it with what you 
have on hand. 


Clock your time and ability to cook 
and serve meals. Remember that a few 
well-chosen foods, all on the table at 
the right time, make a more satis- 
factory meal than many carelessly pre- 
pared dishes straggling along. 

Homemakers with little kitchen 
time, who cannot afford heat-and-eat 
foods, can divide some favorite recipes 
into steps. Decide what can be pre- 
pared on the night before and safely 
refrigerated, then what must be done 
at mealtime in a few minutes. Such 
recipes, when planned into menus, 
give these bonuses: Savings in time 
and money, balanced meals, happier 
people at the table. 

Quick-cooking foods are best started 
after all who will eat are at home. 
Overcooking and extra-long holding of 
foods rob the eating quality. If foods 
must be served at different times, 
prepare those which can be held over 
or reheated. 

Check foods as they cook to avoid 
scorching, especially those cooking in 
little water. 

Use a sharp knife for carving meat. 
Remember: Attractively sliced meat, 
when arranged on a platter or placed 
on a plate, looks elegant. 

All foods should be picture pretty, 
alone or together. Their colors, shapes, 
sizes, and textures should flatter each 

Foods have right serving tempera- 
tures. Ice cream at zero is too cold. 
Refrigerate it a short time, letting the 
flavor bloom before serving. Mashed 
potatoes are delicious when hot, sad 
when cold. Bananas taste best at room 

Breads and rolls are good at either 
room temperature or oven-warm. 

Use these facts: Tart foods sharpen 
appetites; sweets dull them. Crunchy 
or crisp foods add texture contrast: 
hard rolls with the soups and stews, 
crisp toast with creamed dishes. 

Show off foods to advantage. The 
right tablecloth, place mats, dishes, 
glassware, and flowers can light up a 
meal. Wrongly used, they turn off ap- 
petites — orange juice in purple glasses, 
for instance. If you can have but one 


set of dishes, stick to a plain design 
and light colors. Pick clear glassware. 
With these, and color in tablecloths 
and the decorations, you can avoid 

Ways to encourage good eating in- 
clude a change of pace in meal service. 
Surprise the family with an occasional 
indoor or outdoor picnic. Use fanfare 
upon special days. Rather than rush 
through a meal to see a TV show, 
make it a tray supper. 

Each person is an individual. Appe- 
tites vary with age and how one feels 
at the moment. Keep servings small. 
Let each ask for more as long as he 
eats what is on the plate. 

Snacking dulls the appetite, wrecks 
food budgets. Eating a week's supply 
of apples in 1 day not only spoils the 
desire for other food, it discourages 
the cook. Check food binges. Snacks 
should be part of the food plan. 

You have three assets in leftovers — 
savings in time since they are already 
cooked, an extra stretch for the food 
budget, and variety. 

The trick to using leftovers is to 
change their appearance and step up 
the flavor as much as possible. One- 
dish meals and scalloped dishes (vari- 
ous cooked foods heated in sauce) 
make a changeover easier. You can 
extend the meats and vegetables with 
dumplings and biscuits; with rice, 
macaroni, noodles, and bread cubes. 
You can top off such entrees with 
french-fried onion rings, Chinese noo- 
dles, or seasoned croutons. Eye appeal 
doubles when colorful ingredients like 
chopped tomato, pimiento, green on- 
ions, chives, or green pepper are added 
to toppings. 

Omelets and french toast are more 
tasty with bits of leftovers. A small 
amount of cooked vegetables can 
stand an hour or two in french dress- 
ing for added flavor. Strips of leftover 
meats and cheeses make salads hearty. 

Second-time-around fruits — cooked, 
canned, or fresh — can be added to 
cottage cheese. You can replan these 
into desserts along with other fruits. 
They, like vegetables, can be added 
to flavored gelatins, chilled in molds, 

and turned out on lettuce or shredded 

Encourage the eating of salads and 
soups by adding seasoned, toasted 
bread cubes before serving. Cubes also 
can become puddings, fruit desserts, 
or stuffings. Crumbs can be used to 
coat foods for frying. Doughnuts can 
be split, spread with marmalade, and 
broiled for a moment. Renew cakes 
and cookies by serving them with fruit 
sauces and ice cream. 

When it comes to getting the most 
out of food money, one thing more is 
necessary. It is the enthusiastic and 
thrifty-minded homemaker who pre- 
pares food with imagination and joy 
and serves it with pride. She creates the 
atmosphere for enjoying food. To her, 

as it should be to every one of us, food 
is precious. 

How To Use Table: 

Assume chuck roast (bone-in), lamb 
shoulder roast, and Boston butt (bone- 
in) are all 59 cents per pound. Which 
is the more economical choice? Just 
match the price per pound with the 
meat cut you are comparing. Reading 
the table under the 59 cents per pound 
column shows chuck roast at 30 cents 
per serving, lamb shoulder roast at 
24 cents per serving, and the bone-in 
Boston butt at 20 cents per serving. 
Servings are from 2% to 3% ounces of 
cooked lean meat. 

(Marketing Information for Con- 
sumers, Cooperative Extension Serv- 
ice, Ohio State University, Columbus.) 

Cost per Serving of Red Meat and Poultry 

Retail cut 


per pound 

Price per pound 

29 39 49 59 69 79 

99 109 119 129 139 

Cost per serving 


Sirloin Steak 

Porterhouse, T-bone, Rib 


Round Steak 

Chuck Roast, bone-in. . . 

Rib Roast — boneless 

Rib Roast— bone-in 

Rump, Sirloin Roast. . . . 

Ground Beef 

Short Ribs 

Heart, Liver, Kidney. . . . 


Stew Meat, boneless 


Loin, Rib, Shoulder 


Breast, Shank 

Shoulder Roast 

Leg of Lamb 


Center Cut or Rib 


Loin or Rib Roast 

Boston butt— bone-in. . . 

Blade Steak 

Spare Ribs 


Picnic— bone-in 

Ham— fully cooked: 


boneless and canned. 


center slice 


Broiler, ready-to-cook. . . 

legs, thighs 


Turkey, ready-to-cook: 

under 12 lbs 

12 lbs. and over 

2i/2 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 




31/ 2 




2M> 12 
2 15 





















20 25 

11 14 

20 25 

16 20 

20 25 

13 16 

10 12 

20 25 

8 10 

10 12 

8 10 

13 16 

20 25 

16 20 

13 16 

10 12 

16 20 

13 16 

13 16 

29 37 

iy 3 22 

3 10 

4 7 

1 29 

V/3 22 

30 35 

17 20 

30 35 

24 28 

30 35 

20 23 

15 17 

30 35 

12 14 

15 17 

12 14 

20 23 

30 35 

24 28 

20 23 

15 17 

24 28 

20 23 

20 23 

44 52 

40 45 50 

23 25 28 

40 45 50 

32 36 40 

40 45 50 

26 30 33 

20 22 25 

40 45 50 

16 18 20 

20 22 25 

16 18 20 

26 30 33 

40 45 50 

32 36 40 

26 30 33 

20 22 25 

32 36 40 

26 30 33 

26 30 33 

59 67 74 

15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 

11 14 

8 10 

9 12 
8 10 

29 37 

13 16 

10 12 

39 49 

29 37 

17 20 

12 14 

14 16 
12 14 

44 52 

20 23 

15 17 

59 69 

44 52 

23 25 28 

16 18 20 

19 21 23 
16 18 20 

59 67 74 

26 30 33 

20 22 25 

79 89 99 

59 67 74 







109 119 
82 89 












43 46 

65 70 

52 56 

43 46 

32 35 

52 56 

43 46 

43 46 

97 104 

60 65 70 


97 104 

43 46 

32 35 

129 139 

97 104 


Haivye Lewis 

A Food Glide 
for the Ages, 
From Baby 
to Gramps 

Each of us has an individual need 
for food, yet we usually like to eat with 
others. Socializing with food is one of 
the more pleasant aspects of our way 
of life. We like to share meals with 
friends and family. In contrast to the 
hospital tray, these meals may be 
adapted to personal requirements by 
changing the size of servings and mak- 
ing a few substitutions. 

Differences in activities, body size, 
and stages of growth are the main 
reasons for individual food needs. The 
quantity of food for a person is usually 
measured in terms of energy or cal- 
ories. Building materials are proteins 
and minerals, especially calcium, phos- 
phorus, magnesium, and iron. Reac- 
tions are continuously going on in the 
body to use our food for energy or for 
tissue building. Vitamins are necessary 
for these reactions. 

Energy needs increase with body 
size and activity. The minimum energy 
need for maintaining muscle tone and 
functioning of internal organs is called 
basal metabolism, and this amounts 
to approximately 1,700 calories in a 
young man and to 1,400 in a young 
woman. Because of their smaller size, 
children require fewer calories than 


adults even though their energy ex- 
penditure is higher per unit of body 
weight Activity may cause variations 
in energy need amounting to several 
thousand calories per day. Persons in 
the same profession may have avoca- 
tions that run the gamut from watch- 
ing television to playing tennis. Man's 
use of gasoline and electricity to per- 
form work formerly accomplished by 
muscles is causing Americans to get fat. 

Research on nutritional needs has 
been going on since before the turn of 
the century, and there is a scientific 
background for planning meals. Since 
the early 1940's the Food and Nutri- 
tion Board of the National Research 
Council has reviewed the available in- 
formation at five-year intervals and 
brought out the publication Recom- 
mended Dietary Allowances. The amounts 
of nutrients recommended are the 
requirements plus a safety factor in 
most cases. These allowances were the 
basis of A Daily Food Guide, prepared by 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
Included in the guide are four food 
groups: Milk, meat, vegetable-fruit, 
and bread-cereal. By using the sug- 
gested amounts of foods from the four 
groups, you can plan adequate diets 
without much knowledge of nutrition. 
Knowing something about the reasons 
for individual needs and the contribu- 
tions of various foods makes the job 
easier and the reasons for planning 
more compelling. 

Formation of tissue in the child, 
pregnant woman, or convalescent re- 
quires only a small quantity of food 
beyond that needed to supply energy. 
The main difference for them is in die 
proportion of various nutrients. The 
nursing mother also has a special need 
for the building nutrients, as the baby 
is growing rapidly in the first year. 
Protein is the class of organic com- 
pounds present in the largest amount 
in the animal body, and it is synthe- 
sized from amino acids, which are 
supplied by dietary proteins from plant 

Dr. Harvye Lewis is Professor of Food and 
Nutrition at the School of Home Economics, Loui- 
siana State University, Baton Rouge. 

and animal sources. The other build- 
ing materials are inorganic elements, 
those present in bone being needed in 
the largest amounts. 

Baby and Mother. Beginning with 
conception, food needs for the baby 
and mother are inseparable. Some- 
times a young or adolescent mother is 
still completing the laying down of 
her own body tissues. Pregnancy is a 
physiological stress for the healthy, 
well nourished woman, and an even 
greater hazard for the older woman 
whose body stores have been depleted 
by numerous pregnancies. The out- 
come of pregnancy is often a healthy 
baby, regardless of the lack of atten- 
tion paid to the mother's diet, yet 
considerable evidence indicates there 
are benefits from an adequate diet 
during this time. The mother's health 
may be undermined by depletion of 
her body stores. 

During pregnancy, there are hor- 
mone changes, increased fluid reten- 
tion, increased basal metabolism, in- 
creased absorption of certain nutrients, 
and changes in the digestive system. 
Because of these changes, one should 
not assume that the needs during a 
pregnancy are a sum of the require- 
ments for the nonpregnant woman 
plus those of the developing fetus, yet 
it appears reasonable to expect the 
mother to need more of some nutrients. 
The Recommended Dietary Allowances in 
the 1968 revision lists the amounts of 
calories and nutrients above those for 
the nonpregnant young woman. 

The recommended allowance of an 
additional 200 calories during the 
latter half of pregnancy is an approxi- 
mation and is not right for all women. 
Whether the woman was underweight 
or overweight at the start of pregnancy, 
her height and activities all affect her 
energy need. The increase in basal 
metabolism may be offset by the 
decrease in activities during the last 
months. Weight gain should be regular 
throughout a pregnancy and should 
total 22 to 26 pounds for most women. 

The National Research Council rec- 
ommends that the consumption of pro- 
tein, calcium, phosphorus, and folic 

acid be increased significantly during 
pregnancy. Vitamin D, which is not 
included in the normal allowances of 
adults, is added because of its relation 
to mineral absorption and utilization. 
The additional protein amounts to 
10 grams per day, which may be 
furnished by adding 1 ){ cups of milk. 
The milk also takes care of the recom- 
mended additional 0.4 gram calcium 
and contributes other nutrients. 

Iron needs for women are being 
studied at present, as there is evidence 
that many females have borderline or 
poor reserves. The iron needs of the 
developing fetus may cause iron de- 
ficiency anemia during or following 
pregnancy. On the other side of the 
picture, there is a saving of body iron 
by cessation of menstruation and in- 
creased absorption of dietary iron. 

The present recommendation for 
all women during the childbearing 
period is 18 milligrams per day. For 
most women this should be sufficient 
during pregnancy. In order to provide 
18 milligrams of iron, it is necessary 
to include meat, generous amounts of 
the green vegetables, and enriched or 
whole-grain cereals. Liver is the most 
potent food source of iron and supplies 
other nutrients as well. A diet which 
includes two servings of meat, poultry, 
or fish, one egg, two green vegetables, 
two other vegetables, four slices of 
bread, one cup of breakfast cereal, 
and one or more fruits will supply 
enough iron without running up the 
calories. To this should be added 
3 cups of milk and other foods to take 
care of the energy need. 

Generous use of green vegetables to 
supply iron will more than supply the 
additional amounts of vitamins A, C, 
and folic acid recommended for the 
pregnant woman. If the extra calories 
are furnished by enriched cereals, 
milk, and vegetables, the increased 
allowances for the B complex for the 
pregnant woman are readily met. 
Vitamin D is supplied by fortified 
milk plus small amounts of margarine 
and a few other foods. 

The main difference between the 
pregnant woman's diet and that of her 


husband is more milk and stress on 
iron-rich foods. He may have no 
objection to eating the same foods, 
making some adjustment for his own 
calorie needs. The increased amounts 
of nutrients recommended for the 
pregnant woman may be furnished 
by the diet without vitamin or mineral 

Despite improvements in infant 
formulae, breast feeding is still strongly 
recommended. One explanation of the 
reason infants thrive better on human 
milk is that it promotes the growth of 
favorable intestinal bacteria which 
stop the growth of less desirable ones. 
Some pediatricians advocate breast 
feeding as a foolproof method rather 
than because of superior nutritional 
qualities. Another favorable aspect is 
the close mother-child relationship. 

For many mothers the need for more 
food during nursing may be achieved 
by relaxing the restrictions normally 
necessary for weight control. Approxi- 
mately 1,000 calories beyond the usual 
diet before pregnancy is needed for an 
average milk yield. At this time a 
mother's energy needs for activities 
will probably be higher as she takes on 
the responsibilities of a baby and 
resumes her household chores. 

The main increases in the nutrient 
allowances during nursing are the 
addition of 20 grams of protein and 
3,000 International Units of vitamin 
A. Minerals and other vitamins are 
the same or slightly higher than the 
amounts recommended during preg- 
nancy. Folic acid and vitamin B 12 
allowances are lower than during a 
pregnancy. One pint of milk and one 
egg added to the diet which was 
adequate before pregnancy will fur- 
nish all the protein and almost half of 
the additional vitamin A. Using milk 
as the source of the extra protein con- 
tributes to the mother's fluid need 
during nursing. Continued emphasis 
on the green vegetables, recommended 
during pregnancy, will supply the rest 
of the vitamin A, iron, and other 
minerals and vitamins. 

The newborn baby needs higher 
levels of all nutrients in relation to size 


as compared with all other ages. He 
needs these materials for rapid growth 
and because of a higher metabolic rate. 
The premature or low-birth-weight in- 
fant may have insufficient body stores 
of some nutrients, along with decreased 
ability to absorb fat and fat-soluble 
vitamins; thus feeding problems are 
compounded. Babies will vary in en- 
ergy requirements because of differ- 
ences in size and in activities. A baby 
that cries a lot may double his energy 
need. In relation to body weight, the 
infant's needs for both energy and 
protein decrease rapidly during the 
first year. 

Successful use of cow's milk in feed- 
ing infants involves meeting nutritional 
requirements of the child, avoiding 
digestive difficulties, and preventing 
infection. Cleanliness in handling all 
the equipment and heat treatment of 
the milk will lower the chances of in- 
fection. Pasteurization and sterilization 
of the milk also cause the formation of 
small curds, which are more digestible. 

Cow's milk is richer in protein, com- 
parable in fat, and lower in sugar than 
human milk. Except for vitamins C, 
D, and niacin, it contains more vita- 
mins and minerals. Babies may tolerate 
milk from the carton; however, it is 
usually modified. Whole milk is diluted 
with water to lower protein and min- 
erals, and sugar is added to bring the 
calorie level back to that of human 
milk. Evaporated milk has largely re- 
placed fresh milk in infant feeding. 
A common modification is 3 ounces 
evaporated milk, 7 ounces water, and 
% ounce cane sugar. 

As the sterilization process destroys 
ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in milk, the 
artificially fed infant should be given 
a supplement of 35 milligrams daily 
beginning during the first few weeks. 
Infantile scurvy is the only classic de- 
ficiency disease which has not been 
virtually wiped out in the United 
States. If vitamin D has not been 
added to the milk during processing, 
the baby should be given 400 Inter- 
national Units per day. 

Full-term infants with nonanemic 
mothers have reserves of iron which 

Foods supplying iron are usually first given to 
infants at two or three months of age. 

should last about 6 months. During 
the first 2 or 3 months, a food high in 
iron is gradually introduced. Then 
more solid foods are added, and by 
the time that he is 6 months old the 
baby should be eating cooked cereals, 
strained fruits, strained vegetables, egg 
yolk, and homogenized meat. These 
foods may be cooked along with those 
prepared for the family, and then 
strained; or they may be purchased 
in small containers ready for use. 

A baby gains in weight and length 
according to his own pattern, and 
failure to make a steady gain indicates 
something is wrong. As the child 
grows older, the calories and nutrients 
needed in relation to size decrease. 
Toward the end of the first year, al- 
though the age may not be the same 
for all, as growth slows down so does 
the baby's enthusiasm for food. Weight 
gain during the second year amounts 
to about a third that of the first year, 
and is slower between ages 2 and 6 
years than at any dme until after 
puberty is reached. 

The Growing Child. Now that the 
baby can chew, it is no longer neces- 
sary to spoon strained or mashed 
vegetables into the little mouth. His 

hands are useful in putting many 
things in his mouth, including some 
food. As the child gives up baby foods 
and experiments with the new tex- 
tures and flavors of the family meals, 
he may reject many items. This show 
of independence, together with a 
smaller appetite, may lead to plead- 
ing, bribing, scolding, and threatening 
by the parents. Meals become a battle, 
and it isn't always the larger person 
who wins. The child may capitalize 
on being the center of attention and 
not eat anything. This frightens the 
mother, and she may cater to his 
wishes, thus starting the pattern of 
strong likes and dislikes which may 
complicate his life for years to come. 

When a child refuses to eat, food 
should be offered without comments 
about the desirability of eating. After 
a reasonable length of time — no longer 
than 20 minutes — the plate is removed, 
and nothing is offered or allowed until 
the next meal. Even a strong-willed 
child will capitulate by the third day. 

Because of the small appetite char- 
acteristic of a young child, the quality 
of the diet becomes even more im- 
portant; a small amount of food must 
now supply the materials for tissue 
building. He can't afford to fill his 
small capacity with foods that supply- 
only energy, as soft drinks and candy, 
etc. Avoiding such fillers is a challenge 
to the mother, since there are tempta- 
tions at the grocery store, drug store, 
grandmother's or the neighbors', and 
the ice cream truck that invades the 

Amounts of nutrients needed by a 
preschool child are similar to those 
for a baby, although slightly higher. 

With increasing size, the child re- 
quires more food; yet in relation to 
body size, there is a continued de- 
crease in food needs except during 
the adolescent growth spurt. A list 
of foods which almost meet the 
recommended allowances for the vari- 
ous nutrients for a preschool child 
follows. Additional food to raise the 
calorie value should take care of the 
remainder of the nutrients, except for 
vitamin D. 


Vitamin D milk is the only food 
source of this vitamin, and the usual 
fortification is 400 International Units 
per quart. If the child drinks only 1 
pint of milk, it may be necessary to 
supply 200 International Units of 
vitamin D by a concentrated source. 
Preparations of vitamins should be 
used with care, for there are dangers 
in consuming too much of the fat- 
soluble ones: A, D, E, and K. 

to consume what is put before them. 
Even though learning to handle the 
spoons, forks, glasses, liquids, crackers, 
etc., may involve many spills and 
crumbs, children enjoy company at 
meals. Sometimes the little ones seem 
to enjoy the meals in the nursery 
school more than those at home. 

The rest of the diet should not be 
"empty calories." Sweets, especially 
sticky candies, promote the growth of 

> -4 

Learning to eat new or different foods is part of the preschool prograr 

Diet for a preschool child should 
include: 1 pint of vitamin D milk; 2 
ounces of lean meat, fish, or poultry; 
% cup orange juice or some source of 
vitamin C; 1 egg; 2 slices enriched 
bread or other cereal; % cup cooked 
yellow or green leafy vegetable. 

Amounts of food listed will not 
furnish enough daily food for a child, 
but there are numerous possibilities 
for supplements. The servings may be 
larger while other fruits, vegetables, 
butter or margarine, cereals, and 
simple desserts are suitable. Glasses 
that fit their small hands and items 
that are easily transported from dish 
to mouth encourage young children 


micro-organisms which cause dental 
cavities. In preparation for the coming 
years when weight control is necessary, 
the child needs to learn to eat vege- 
tables and fruits. The large amount of 
water in these foods causes them to 
have lower calorie values than meat, 
desserts, and bread. 

Preadolescents. In preadolescence, a 
child needs larger amounts of the same 
kinds of food that the younger child 
eats. Going to school makes it neces- 
sary for him to have a routine schedule 
for meals. The preschool child who is 
not hungry when he wakes up may 
play for a while before breakfast. This 
behavior pattern doesn't fit in with 

carpools, buses, and the school bell. A 
child who comes to school without 
breakfast is at a big disadvantage in 
making the most of his intellectual 
powers. Although the candy and soft 
drinks available in some schools can 
allay the child's hunger, they may 
cause him to have very little appetite 
at lunchtime. 

It is not imperative that a child 
consume the traditional bacon, eggs, 
and toast breakfast. Any food which 
may be prepared quickly and con- 
sumed easily is suitable. Many persons 
enjoy a glass of fruit juice first. If 
this isn't well accepted, the child may 
consume a source of vitamin C later in 
the day. Fats and proteins are digested 
more slowly than carbohydrates, thus 
delaying the empty feeling that soon 
follows a high carbohydrate meal. 
Eggs are economical and easily pre- 
pared sources of protein and iron; 
however, they are not irreplaceable in 
the child's diet. 

The elementary school child may 
consume 1 cup (% pint) of milk three 
times a day. As his appetite dictates, 
the amounts of meat, bread, fruit, and 
vegetables are increased. During these 
formative years the youngster should 
be encouraged to eat many different 
foods. Along with promoting good 
health, the School Lunch Program has 
contributed to teaching children good 
eating habits. Regulations under the 
National School Lunch Act of 1946 
specify that the Type A lunch contain, 
as a minimum, 1 cup of whole milk, 
2 ounces of protein-rich food, three- 
fourths cup of two or more vegetables 
or fruits or both, one slice of whole- 
grain or enriched bread or its equiva- 
lent, and 2 teaspoons of butter or of 
fortified margarine. 

Adolescents. Adolescence is a period 
of rapid growth and of maturation, 
which may occur between the ages 
10 and 20 years. On the average, girls 
reach this stage of development about 
2 years earlier than boys. There is 
evidence that good nutrition, which 
promotes growth throughout child- 
hood, is related to maturing early. At 
the same time that the adolescent has 

Fruit juice, milk, and ready-to-eat cereal make 
a breakfast for the elementary school child 
that is quickly prepared and easily consumed. 

accelerated nutritional needs, there 
are many psychological and social 
pressures. At this age any deviation 
from the average in state of develop- 
ment may be upsetting. The tallest 
member of the seventh grade class, 
usually a girl, is as self conscious as the 
smallest boy. 

During the growth spurt the forma- 
tion of muscles, of bone, and blood 
requires ample supplies of the building 
materials: protein, calcium, and iron. 
A slight rise in basal metabolism and 
the constant activities of adolescents 
are also responsible for greater food 
consumption than in earlier and later 
periods of life. Most teenagers are 
forever hungry, and mothers are hard 
pressed to keep enough food on hand. 
This is an opportune time to introduce 
new foods and to overcome some of the 


Maryland elementary students with their school lunch. USDA administers the National School 
Lunch Program, which helps teach children good eating habits. 

dislikes the child developed when his 
appetite was more finicky. Along with 
the opportunity for improving food 
habits, however, is the possibility of 
developing worse ones. 

Following the pattern suggested for 
younger children, the adolescent boy 
might eat: 4 cups of milk; 6 ounces 
of meat; ){ to 1 cup of orange juice; 
4 slices of bread; % cup of a green 
or yellow vegetable; enriched cereals 
and bread; fruits and vegetables. 

The foods listed in amounts will 
take care of the boy's need for protein, 
minerals, and vitamins, provided a 
green leafy vegetable or several less 
potent sources of iron are eaten. The 
adolescent girl may drink only 3 cups 
of milk, but her need for iron is even 
more critical after she begins men- 
struating. Meat, fish, poultry, enriched 
bread and cereals, green leafy vege- 
tables, dried fruits, and egg yolk are 
the main sources of iron. Ice cream, 
peanut butter, hamburgers, cookies, 
and other popular foods may complete 
the rest of the diet. There is no ad- 


vantage in consuming more than a 
quart of milk daily. Moreover, the 
girl who is restricting her calorie intake 
should leave off the extra serving 
rather than the foods supplying the 
building nutrients. 

Many adults look back on adoles- 
cence with less than fond memories 
because physical and emotional prob- 
lems, some related to nutrition, are 
common at this time. Overweight, 
undernutrition, anemia, and acne 
stand out among the physical defects 
which may bring on psychological 
problems. As if being different from 
his peers is not serious enough, the 
overweight child has the prospect of 
becoming an overweight adult, a 
situation affecting health as well as 
looks. Whether being overweight is 
caused by too much food or too little 
activity, the solution is a change in 
one or both to achieve energy balance. 

The overweight adolescent needs 
the same kinds of food as the under- 
weight or normal weight person, except 
in smaller amounts. Size and number 

of servings of even the meats, breads, 
vegetables, and milk have to be con- 
trolled. Rich desserts and many of 
the usual snack foods may be replaced 
with fresh fruits, tomatoes, carrot 
strips, celery, and the like. Instead of a 
"crash diet" to take off pounds im- 
mediately, the goal is developing eat- 
ing habits which one can live with 
indefinitely. But even these habits re- 
quire downward revision with time. 

Underweight adolescents may or 
may not be satisfied with their state. 
Girls often desire to look like fashion 
models whereas boys would like to be 
athletic in appearance at least. Infec- 
tions are more frequent among under- 
weight persons. Anemia may occur 
in both sexes at this age, although the 
monthly blood loss places the girl in 
the more dangerous position. Meats, 
eggs, enriched breads, the green vege- 
tables, and other sources of iron are 
dietary insurance against nutritional 
anemia, which is often responsible for 
a poor appetite and lack of weight 
gain. Acne is a condition which is 
related to hormone changes — rather 
than diet, and adolescents should not 
be promised that a good diet will 
clear up their skin problems. 

As these boys and girls acquire more 
independence and eat away from the 
home, their diets have less supervision. 
Snacking between meals is a way of 
life at this age. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the snack foods are often those 
high in fat and sugar, furnishing only 
energy. Even the beanpole adolescent 
may develop habits which make weight 
control difficult in later years. 

Adults. During the later teens and 
early twenties, growth ends and ma- 
turity is reached, thus reducing the 
need for the building materials. Basal 
metabolism is gradually declining, and 
usually physical activities slow down. 
As a person advances in his profession, 
his life normally becomes more seden- 
tary. The homemaker becomes more 
skilled with practice, and laborsaving 
appliances may reduce her energy 
need even further. As was true for the 
growing child, each adult has an 
individual requirement for nutrients 

and calories related to age, size, sex, 
activity, and state of health. Slight 
excesses of nutrients are not considered 
harmful; however, the calorie intake 
must be adjusted to avoid becoming 

Compared with a growing person, 
an adult has a lower need for protein 
and calcium — so milk consumption 
may be reduced to 2 cups a day. Men 
usually consume adequate amounts of 
iron without making an effort; while 
women must be sure to consume rich 
sources of iron until after menopause. 
A dietary source of vitamin D is not 
considered necessary for adults, except 
for pregnant and nursing women. The 
amount consumed by drinking milk 
with vitamin D added is considered 
safe. The recommended allowances of 
vitamins A and C are about the same 
as for the younger person, but these 
are easily furnished by a serving of 
green or yellow vegetable and a serving 
of citrus fruit or tomatoes. Along with 
the lower energy need there is a lower- 
ing of the recommendations for the 
B vitamins. 

The main nutritional problem of 
many adults is weight control. Gen- 
erally, a person should maintain his 
normal weight at age 25 for the rest 
of his life. As one adds years there is a 
need to subtract calories. At the same 
time protein, minerals, and vitamins 
are still very necessary. Foods high in 
fat — pastries, rich cakes, salad dress- 
ings, gravies, and nuts — supply small 
amounts of nutrients in proportion to 
their energy values. Frying adds fat 
to the food no matter how well it is 
drained on absorbent paper. Sugar, 
candies, sirups, jellies, soft drinks, 
and the alcoholic beverages are also 
sources of "empty calories." An adult 
has some choice as to which foods to 
leave out. Certain foods — meats, milk, 
fruits, vegetables, and cereals or 
bread — are needed for nutrients and 
calorie value. Crash diets for weight 
reduction are dangerous and often 
fail to accomplish the desired results. 

Oldsters. Aging is continuous from 
conception on, and it is as hard to 
specify which birthday makes one 


A meal like this supplies nutrients and calorie value needed by adults. 


aged as to predict the exact year that 
puberty occurs. Calendar and physio- 
logical age are not the same. We have 
all known folks active in their eighties 
and others who became feeble much 
earlier. During aging there are losses 
in cell mass and perhaps impairment 
of the remaining cells so that organ 
systems function less efficiently. This 
may be observed in changes in the 
eyes, ears, digestive system, and kid- 
ney. The oldster also has the accumu- 
lated insults from accidents, infection, 
and environmental factors, including 
food. Nutrients supplied to the cells 
throughout the years affect the aging 
process and resistance to disease. 

One change that definitely accom- 
panies the aging process is a decreased 
energy need. Basal metabolism and, 
usually, activities are slowing down. 
On the average, men and women in 
the 55- to 75-year span need 300 to 
400 calories less per day than they 
did during the 35- to 55-year period. 
The amounts of the B-complex vita- 
mins are proportionately lowered too. 
There is no evidence that cellular 
changes affect the need for nutrients; 
so the recommendations for protein, 
calcium, vitamins A, C, and E are 
the same as for the younger adult. 
After menopause a woman's iron need 
is no higher than a man's. 

Although the healthy person needs 
no special dietary alterations in old 
age except for fewer calories, a num- 
ber of ailments do affect the kind and 
amount of food needed. Many older 
people need to do more than control 
weight; they actually need to reduce. 

Lack of teeth or poorly fitting den- 
tures affect the kinds of acceptable 
food. Surveys have shown that oldsters 
often substitute bread for meat and 
vegetables, probably because of the 
ease in chewing as well as the expense. 
The blender is useful in making steak 
acceptable to a person without teeth. 

Digestive difficulties and constipa- 
tion are common and may cause the 
elderly person to reject some foods. 
For chronic conditions, many oldsters 
require special diets which become 
their way of life. Perhaps research will 
eventually find ways of controlling 
these diseases as with many others. 
Even now some deteriorative changes 
may be alleviated by good nutrition 
earlier in life. 

With our great array of food, ade- 
quate diets for all of us at any age are 
possible without great effort. A per- 
son's individual needs may be fur- 
nished in various ways. Foods which 
supply energy, protein, minerals, and 
vitamins are available in the gro- 
cery store, the school, restaurant, and 

Nutritious food tastes good. A daily 
pattern to provide the nutrients should 
be as habitual as dressing, brushing 
teeth, and other routine activities. 
The specific items are dictated by the 
resources and time available. Meals 
served at home may be purchased 
almost ready to serve or they may 
represent hours of loving preparation. 
Vitamin pills and other dietary supple- 
ments are usually unnecessary. Pro- 
motion of good health by eating the 
right foods is easy and pleasant. 


Marjorie B. Washbon 
Gail G. Harrison 

and What It 
Takes to 
Stay Trim 

How to lose weight, preferably without 
effort, receives constant attention in 
the press and conversation. Not all of 
this information is wrong; but much 
is a mixture of fact, half-truths, and 
pure imagination. How can you know 
what to believe, especially when the 
information is often presented as a 
"new, scientific discovery"? After all, 
science has progressed to voyages 
around the moon. Yet easy ways to 
lose weight are still elusive. Unravel- 
ling the mysteries of the human body 
is proving more difficult than conquer- 
ing outer space. 

An easy way to lose weight is not 
yet in sight nor is it realistic to expect 
one. There has been, however, gradual 
accumulation of knowledge from con- 
tinual experimentation, some of which 
has been treated in popular writings. 
The purpose of this chapter is to 
present an overview of what we know 
and don't know about the causes and 
correction of obesity. 

There are sound health reasons for 
a concern about weight reduction al- 
though, admittedly, much of the 
current interest is motivated by desire 
for a fashionable figure. Most people 


know that overweight is considered a 
health hazard, particularly in relation 
to diseases of the heart and circulatory 
system. Most life insurance companies 
charge higher rates to the grossly over- 
weight just as they do for other high 
risk categories — such as smokers and 
the accident-prone. 

The connection between extreme 
overweight and several diseases is well 
documented. It is also known that the 
greater the degree of obesity, the 
greater the risk. But it is not clear just 
how much excess weight — or excess 
fat — constitutes a danger. Neither are 
we sure whether the primary health 
risk is overweight or overfatness. 

Most of us agree there is little to say 
in favor of overweight and most of us, 
too, are acquainted with some of the 
more basic facts about weight reduc- 
tion. The implications of these facts 
are less well understood. 

Just about everyone knows, for ex- 
ample, that you accumulate extra fat 
by taking in more food than you can 
use up in energy output And, con- 
versely, that you lose body fat when 
you eat less food than you require for 
your energy expenditure. Most people 
know, also, that the term used to 
measure energy is calories. Possibly 
no word in die English language is 
more maligned. We count calories; 
we regret them; we blame them. 

But scientifically speaking, calories 
are simply units to measure energy, 
just as inches or miles are units to 
measure distance. 

We need food energy. Without it, 
the body could not function. But 
keeping it functioning at a constant 
weight requires a balance between 
intake and outgo. Many factors affect 
both sides of this energy equation. 

We all use energy in two distinct 
ways: (1) to maintain those basic 
processes necessary to life, including 
growth and (2) to accomplish physical 

Marjorie B. Washbon is Professor of Human 
Nutrition fi? Food, N.T. State College of Human 
Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.T. 

Gail G. Harrison is Extension Associate, De- 
partment of Human Nutrition & Food, N.T. State 
College of Human Ecology, Cornell University. 

activity. The precise amount needed 
in each category varies greatly from 
one person to another. 

By far the greatest proportion of 
our calorie need is accounted for by 
the basic, on-going processes of life — 
the work needed to keep the heart 
beating, the lungs breathing, the 
kidneys eliminating waste products, 
the cells of the body repairing them- 
selves, new tissues being built during 
growth, and production of heat to 
keep body temperature normal. All 
of these processes require energy. 
The energy needed to maintain them 
is called the basal metabolic rate, or 
the BMR. 

Many conditions affect the BMR, 
and thus the total caloric needs of a 
given individual. Among these are 
size, the body composition, age, and 
hormonal factors. The larger person, 
with a greater amount of muscle and 
bone, requires more energy for basic 
metabolic demands than die smaller 
person. Age is another influencing 
factor. Basal metabolic rate increases 
during periods of growth and decreases 
gradually throughout adult life. 

About the only controllable factor 
affecting basal metabolic rate is the 
rare situation of hormonal imbalance. 
Occasionally the occurrence of thyroid 
insufficiency will slow BMR down. In 
these relatively rare and easily detected 
cases, therapy with thyroid hormone 
alleviates the condition. More often 
the imbalance in the energy equation 
must be attacked from the standpoint 
of food intake, exercise, or both. 

Besides the BMR, the other major 
factor affecting energy needs is exer- 
cise. And this you can control. An 
important reason for the increased 
incidence of overweight today is the 
limited physical activity that everyday 
living demands of most of us. A con- 
scious effort to increase our physical 
activity deserves more attention than 
it has had in the past. Even a few 
years ago, it was common to teach 
that exercise was of litde or no value 
in weight control. Unfortunately, the 
erroneous ideas on which this teaching 
was based still persist. 

One such fallacy is the notion that 
exercise automatically increases appe- 
tite and thus any beneficial effects are 
canceled out. This doesn't have to be 
true, especially with moderate activ- 
ity. Actually, more data are available 
to support me opposite situation. That 
is, reducing activity to a low level may 
not be accompanied by less eating. 

A second misconception is the belief 
that it takes a lot of exercise — more 
than most people will do — to use sig- 
nificant amounts of energy. 

This is true enough if you are 
talking about the short term of a few 
weeks. But, over a period of months 
or years, even small increases in exer- 
cise can make a difference in how 
much you weigh, providing the activ- 
ity becomes a daily habit. 

Some increase in exercise is espe- 
cially significant for many older folks 
and others whose caloric needs are low, 
when keeping extra weight off may 
seem almost an impossible problem. If 
such persons are to maintain their 
weight, the choice may rest between 
making the effort to get some regular 
exercise — or continually being a litde 

For the person who has always been 
overweight, exercise may be an even 
more complicated problem. The over- 
weight teenager, for instance, may not 
be proficient in sports and feel self- 
conscious, and so he may habitually 
underparticipate. Thus, lack of exer- 
cise is not only contributing to his 
obesity; it is also a result of his obe- 
sity. A vicious circle develops that is 
difficult to break. Studies have also 
shown that the obese individual often 
gets less physical exercise than the 
person of normal weight even when 
engaged for the same length of time in 
the same sport. This is simply because 
he moves less. 

The other side of the energy equa- 
tion — the energy taken in as calories 
from food — is equally important. The 
amount of food we eat is not regulated 
solely by our need for calories. Would 
that it were! We humans are social 
beings, and often we eat to please our 
hostess, to share in the sociability, to 


relieve frustration, boredom, or loneli- 
ness, or just because the food is there — 
even if we are not particularly hungry ! 

We also adjust our food intake ac- 
cording to the expectations of society — 
and those expectations aren't always 
clear-cut and simple. Definitions of 
what's-good-to-do may contradict one 
another, creating a vague feeling of 
guilt. For instance, the ideal of the 
Clean Plate Club is still with us. The 
Puritan ethic of "waste not, want not" 
is part of our culture. Coupled with an 
abundance of food available, this con- 
flicts with the ideal of a slim figure. 

Because more than physical need is 
involved in controlling the amount 
we eat, many of us fail to adequately 
adjust our intake to our caloric need. 

Much remains to be learned before 
all the pieces are in place in the com- 
plicated puzzle of our energy balance. 
Emotional, genetic, and metabolic 
factors may be important influences. 
Many of these are at present only 
notions in the minds of researchers — as 
yet a long way from being of practical 
value to the person who wants to lose 
some weight. 

Most people realize there is some 
connection between heredity and body 
weight. You may have observed that 
overweight tends to run in families, 
but again the issue is not simple. 

We know definitely that the body 
build — the general size and shape of 
the body, including bony structure 
and musculature as well as the fat 
distribution — is inherited. Bony struc- 
ture cannot be changed, and muscle 
development can be changed only 
within rather narrow limits. It is a 
fact that some of us are tall, large- 
boned, and heavy. Others are long 
and lean. Still others are short, round, 
and stocky. Normal variations in body 
build are the subject of a whole 
science, called somatotyping. There 
are three basic somatotypes or ex- 
tremes of body build: ectomorphy, 
mesomorphy, and endomorphy. 

The ectomorphic individual has a 
long, lean body build. The skeletal 
structure is light and muscle develop- 
ment is usually small. Ectomorphs 


are seldom overweight, but may have 
the opposite problem of being too 
thin. They often seem to be able to 
eat relatively large amounts of food 
without gaining weight. 

The mesomorphic person has a 
large, heavy frame and heavy muscle 
development. The "ideal" football 
player type of a person with broad 
shoulders and lots of muscle could be 
classified as mesomorphic. The scales 
may read high for the mesomorph 
because of heavy bone and muscle 
structure, even if he is not too fat. 

The endomorphic person typically 
has soft, round body contours and is 
well covered with body fat. Endo- 
morphs often have trouble maintaining 
reasonable weight. 

Most of us are a combination of two 
of these types. An extreme ectomorph, 
endomorph, or mesomorph is really 
quite rare. But most people do exhibit 
one of these particular body builds 

What does all of this mean for the 
person who wants to lose weight? It 
means that overweight and overfat- 
ness may not be the same thing. A 
person with a large bony frame and 
heavy musculature is not as fat as a 
person of the same height and weight 
who has a small skeleton and less 
muscle development. 

Understanding the difference be- 
tween overweight and overfatness is 





important because it is the basis for 
setting realistic goals for weight reduc- 
tion. The amount of fat on the body 
can be changed, but the basic body 
build cannot. Nor can you expect to 
eliminate localized fat deposits, such 
as heavy thighs on an otherwise non- 
obese person. Fat distribution of this 
type cannot be selectively controlled 
by diet or exercise. 

Less well established is whether 
heredity affects total fatness as well as 
bone, muscle structure, and fat dis- 
tribution. Research relating the num- 
ber and size of fat cells in the body to 
obesity may some day help clarify the 
mystery of heredity and obesity. But 
what we do know about heredity and 
body build is sufficient to help us 
realize that what is a realistic goal for 
one person may not be realistic for 
the next. And as knowledge about the 
relation of heredity to body fatness 
increases, it may be more and more 
possible to identify those individuals 
who are predisposed to easy weight 
gain and to help them prevent obesity 
in the first place, rather than limiting 
our attacks on the problem to helping 
the person who is already too fat. 

It is easy to see that some people 
will, because of their basic body build, 
have more trouble maintaining reason- 
able weight than others. Obesity is a 
physical problem, and it may be a 
psychological one as well ; but it should 
not be made a moral issue. It is highly 
unfair to classify every individual who 
has a weight problem as a weak-willed 
glutton, as our society too often does. 

Since people differ so much in their 
inherited body builds, how can you 
know what is the best weight for you? 
The most widely used standards are 
height-weight tables. While these have 
some valid uses, an honest look in a 
full-length mirror will probably be as 
reliable an indicator as any chart in 
telling you whether or not you are 
too fat. 

The limitations of some of the charts 
may be clearer if we discuss the origins 
of a few in current use and the differ- 
ences among them. There are two 
types of charts in general use today: 

those which report the average weights 
of a large number of people, and those 
which recommend desirable weights. 

In 1959, average weights of a large, 
insured adult population were pub- 
lished by the Society of Actuaries. 
These tables of average weights have 
been widely used since. Their relia- 
bility is limited because only insured 
individuals were considered and be- 
cause measuring techniques were not 
standardized. But these tables do show 
that both men and women tend, on 
the average, to gain some weight as 
they get older. 

Back in 1960, the Metropolitan Life 
Insurance Company published the 
widely-used "Tables of Desirable 
Weight," based upon data from the 
Society of Actuaries. These desirable 
weights were substantially lower than 
the previously published "average" 
weights. They were designed to be 
applied to adults 25 years of age and 
older. The desirable weights were 
based on the fact that, in the insured 
population, the person who main- 
tained what he weighed at age 25 had 
the lowest mortality risk. No change, 
therefore, was made for age, but 
weight ranges were given and allow- 
ance was made for small, medium, and 
large body frames. While this was a 
step in the right direction, no indica- 
tion was given as to how one might 
decide what type of body frame he had. 

Another table of desirable weights 
in current use is based upon data on 
heights and weights of individuals 20 
to 30 years old, as obtained by the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 
USDA table assumes that the weight 
that is desirable in your mid-twenties 
is the best weight for later years, too. 

To use the table, first find in the 
left-hand column your height, without 
shoes. If you have a small frame, your 
weight should probably be no lower 
than the weight in the "low" column 
and no higher than the weight given 
in the "average" column. If you have 
a large frame, use the "average" and 
"high" columns to determine your 
desirable weight range. If your frame 
is about average, your weight should 


probably be somewhere close to the 
average for your height. 

There are a number of other tables 
in use besides those mentioned. All 
have the disadvantage that they only 
consider weight. They say nothing 
about fatness, which may be more the 
point in question. 

Techniques and standards for judg- 
ing fatness are needed, but as yet no 
such standards are in general use. 
Several methods are being tested in 
research situations, however. One of 
the most promising is the skinfold 
measurement, or "scientific pinch" as 
it is sometimes called. Special calipers 
are used to measure the fat pad just 
under the skin at certain specified 
points on the body. Researchers have 
been able to correlate these measure- 
ments with total body fatness. Some- 
day we may see the skinfold calipers 
routinely used in the physician's office 
along with the scale, but at present 
their use is limited largely to research 

There is no doubt, then, that height 
and weight alone are not the only 

Weights of Persons 20 to 30 Years Old 

Weight (without clothing) 

Height (without shoes) 








5 feet 3 inches 




5 feet 4 inches 




5 feet 5 inches 




5 feet 6 inches 




5 feet 7 inches 




5 feet 8 inches 




5 feet 9 inches 




5 feet 10 inches 




5 feet 11 inches 




6 feet 




6 feet 1 inch 


6 feet 2 inches 




6 feet 3 inches 





5 feet 




5 feet 1 inch 


5 feet 2 inches 




5 feet 3 inches 




5 feet 4 inches 




5 feet 5 inches 




5 feet 6 inches 




5 feet 7 inches 




5 feet 8 inches 




5 feet 9 inches 




5 feet 10 inches .. 




5 feet 11 inches. 




6 feet 




Using skinfold calipers to measure fat pad on 
upper arm, at Cornell University's Graduate 
School of Nutrition. 

factors to consider in deciding whether 
a person is too fat. Also involved are 
appearance, general health, and some 
indication of relative fatness. Many 
experts would rather define desirable 
weight as the weight at which you feel 
your best and look your best, rather 
than by any chart or table. 

Evaluating the weight status of 
children is even more complicated. 
Every child has his own individual 
pattern of growth; some children ex- 
perience the adolescent growth spurt, 
for instance, several years earlier than 
do others. And during puberty, per- 
fecdy normal changes in fatness occur 
due to sexual maturation. It would be 
unreasonable to apply the same stand- 
ard for desirable weight to all young- 
sters of the same age or of the same 
height even if we could allow for the 
differences in body build. 

Some tools have been developed 
which are useful in evaluating chil- 
dren's weight status. One such tool is 
the Meredith growth chart, widely 
used by pediatricians and in schools. 
This type of chart shows growth 
progress in both height and weight, 
allowing for a wide range of normal 
variation at every age. 

Anyone who has tried to lose weight 


is acquainted with another aspect of 
weight reduction. Weight loss is dif- 
ficult to achieve and to maintain for 
many people. The low rate of success, 
measured by continued maintenance 
of weight loss, is disheartening to the 
reducer and to the clinicians who work 
with the problem. There is some com- 
fort in realizing that the picture is 
probably brighter than published fig- 
ures show. Many who achieve success 
may do so upon their own without 
ever seeking help and thus are never 
counted in the statistics. 

Nevertheless, there is no question 
that losing weight and keeping it off 
is an obstinate problem for many, 
many people. Understanding some of 
the reasons won't in itself correct the 
problem, but it may help the would- 
be reducer to know the challenges that 
he is up against. 

One reason for a poor success in 
weight reduction programs is incom- 
plete knowledge of the relevant facts. 
Let's consider a few illustrations. 

Many people fail to realize that 
obesity has multiple causes. Take, for 
example, the common experience of 
weight gain during the first year of 
marriage. But what caused the excess 
of food? A rewardingly appreciative 
husband, perhaps. Should the new 
wife be helped to realize that she 
cherishes her husband more effec- 
tively by not tempting him to overeat? 
When obesity is long-standing, the 
causative factors are much more com- 
plex. Treatment requires insight be- 
yond "eat less, exercise more." 

In addition, there is a great deal of 
popular ignorance about the caloric 
value of food, despite all that has been 
written about it. Most people have a 
general idea which foods are high in 
calories, defined as furnishing many 
calories in a small amount. But there 
are many misconceptions. 

Bread, for example, has a high 
calorie image. To many people, this 

These boys are both 16, but obviously at 
different stages of maturity. Each is of normal 
weight, but the two cannot be judged by the 
same standard. 

means white bread; but whole wheat, 
rye, or diet bread are often thought 
of as substantially lower in calories. 
Instead, they are roughly equivalent. 

Meat enjoys a low-calorie image. 
Meat is not low calorie in the amounts 
usually eaten. Calorie values in tables 
are usually given in 2- or 3-ounce 
servings. This means one small ham- 
burger, one frankfurter, or one small 
pork chop. Servings are commonly 
twice this size. Further, many meats 
contain a good deal of fat which 
cannot be trimmed off. 

One general rule about caloric 
content of foods may prove useful. 
Fat contains, weight for weight, over 
twice as many calories as carbohydrate 
or protein. Cutting down on the 
amount of fat in the diet (substituting 


skim milk for whole milk, for instance) 
may be the most efficient way to trim 
calorie intake. 

Few people realize, too, that the 
overweight person doesn't always eat 
more than his slender peer. Many 
studies support this in the adolescent; 
some show it for the adult. If a person 
is already eating very little, further 
restriction may seem unrewarding 
unless the individual is either prepared 
for very slow progress or learns to 
adjust his activity pattern upward. 

Finally, there is the human desire 
for overnight results which has some 
basis in ignorance. Even when food 
intake is highly restricted, weight loss 
is bound to be slow. At the rate of a 
1,000 calorie deficit a day — which is 
fairly severe — the mathematical pre- 
diction is for a weight loss of about 
2 pounds of fatty tissue a week, though 
the scales may register differently 
because of the individual variations in 
retention and loss of water. 

The deep-rooted character of food 
habits is also responsible in part for 
failure of weight reduction programs. 
Each of us has an individual set of 
food habits which began forming with 
the first food we swallowed. By the 
time we are adults, these food con- 
sumption patterns have become as 
much a part of us as the way we walk, 
the way we speak, the way we think. 
Anyone who has tried to learn a 
different language as an adult knows 
how difficult it is. Changing food 
habits can be just as difficult. 

People do learn new languages — 
and can learn to change food habits, 
too. But in either case, it takes strong 
motivation and a great deal of prac- 
tice. The habit of eating less has a 
chance to persist only when the effort 
has been made for a long enough time 
to provide adequate practice. This 
means a program sensible enough to 
permit staying with it, and accom- 
panied by a deep enough motivation 
to make the effort worthwhile. 

These characteristics are lacking 
in many weight reduction programs, 
which is one reason many people have 
learned from experience to expect 


failure. And indeed, one of the most 
unlikely candidates for success is the 
person who has tried to maintain a 
weight loss and failed. 

Further, attitudes toward life often 
influence attitudes toward food. The 
person who is more concerned about 
today than some indefinite tomorrow 
may prefer to take his chances with 
overweight rather than to forgo the 
certain pleasures of eating. This may 
be especially true at middle age or 
older when the social pressures for a 
slim figure have lessened. 

Sometimes these personal attitudes 
are part of a cultural pattern which 
does not put a high premium upon 
slenderness. Some studies, for example, 
suggest that the higher your socio- 
economic status, the lower the preva- 
lence of obesity. Perhaps slimness is 
not equally important at all social 

Another reason for lack of success 
is failure to recognize that restricting 
food intake creates a stress with which 
the reducer must be able to cope. 
Whether we realize it or not, food 
fulfills many needs other than absolute 
hunger. Foods we learned to like as 
children mean the security of home 
and family; food or beverage often 
becomes synonomous with sociability; 
food may be a comfort in loneliness or 
in grief. 

These are only a few such associa- 
tions — and their relative importance 
varies with the individual. It is im- 
portant to remember that these uses 
of food are perfectly valid and should 
never be discredited. Restricting food, 
without an adequate substitute, may 
create more problems than it corrects. 

Because food supplies psychological 
as well as physical needs, there may 
be times in your life when you should 
not try to reduce — if you are under 
severe stress, for example. Or if you 
are in the process of altering another 
habit pattern, such as smoking. One 
stress at a time is enough. 

This recitation of die barriers to 
achieving and maintaining weight loss 
may have left you with a feeling of 
futility. This is, of course, not our 

purpose. It has been our aim instead 
to give you a sound basis for appraising 
what you read and hear-about weight 

For instance, we hope this review 
has helped you see a major fallacy in 
the oddball diets so often promoted in 
popular writings. Such diets may be 
effective in dropping the first several 
pounds. But they do littie to prepare 
you to continue the batde after the 
first skirmish is won. The only true 
test of success is in not regaining. 

Our review would be incomplete 
without a few words about the parts 
of the enigma which are as yet un- 
answered. We have chosen to present 
these in a question and answer format, 
pointing out how far present knowl- 
edge goes and what still remains to be 

• What controls appetite? Appetite 
controlling mechanisms have been 
clearly identified and located in the 
brains of animals. When the area 
which controls satiety is destroyed, 
the animal eats voraciously and so 
becomes obese. It is reasonable to 
assume that a similar physiological 
mechanism operates in humans. But 
we are not yet sure how the mechanism 
works — what tells it to decide "I've 
had enough" or "I'm hungry." And 
in humans the study of any physio- 
logical control is complicated by the 
psychological factors. The possibility 
of enough knowledge to attack the 
problem of obesity from this angle is 
not yet in sight 

• Are some people really more effi- 
cient in their utilization of food than 
others? Certainly this seems to be 
true to many overweight people, but 
there is little research evidence to 
support it. There are some recent 
indications that an obese animal, 
when reduced, uses food more effi- 
ciendy than before. Whether or not 
this applies to man is not clear. 
Someday we may be able to say that 
the obese person metabolizes food in 
a different way than his slender 
friend, but that day is not yet at hand. 

• Does frequency of eating affect the 

conversion of food to fat? Experimental 
work in animals provides evidence 
that frequent small meals, or nibbling, 
produces more body protein and less 
body fat than eating the same number 
of calories in a single meal. These 
results have been demonstrated in 
rats but have not been shown consist- 
endy in other species. Studies in humans 
have been negative, too. So far, there- 
fore, spaced feeding is just a matter 
of an individual choice — assuming, of 
course, that extra feedings do not mean 
extra calories. 

• Does the proportion of protein, fat, 
and carbohydrate in the diet make a 
difference in how fast you lose weight? 
Diet plans appear periodically which 
promise spectacular results by dras- 
tically altering the amount of protein, 
fat, or carbohydrate in the diet. A 
prominent one has been the high 
fat-low carbohydrate regime in various 
versions. When investigated under 
controlled conditions, none of these 
have produced any more weight loss 
over a period of time than would be 
expected from the caloric deficit that 
they provide. 

Such drastic diet alterations, in- 
cluding total fast or starvation diets, 
have occasional use in clinical situa- 
tions. But they can be highly dan- 
gerous for the self-treated individual 
and obviously are not a sensible basis 
for long-term regulation. 

We have been talking so far of what 
we know about weight reduction and 
what remains to be learned. How can 
you put these facts to work? 

A standard plan for everyone is 
neither sound nor sensible. We are 
all different. We gained weight for 
different reasons; we want to lose 
weight for different reasons; we differ 
in age, health, and general life circum- 
stances. The first step for anyone who 
is serious about losing weight should 
be working out a personal plan with 
his physician. The time will be well 

There are certain circumstances 
which call for special approaches to 
weight control. It is outside the scope 


of this chapter to deal with all the 
possible problems, but we will mention 
a few of the important factors in deal- 
ing with specific overweight problems. 

The overweight child, for instance, 
needs special consideration. We have 
already pointed out that the fat child, 
especially if his genetic inheritance 
predisposes to easy weight gain, very 
often carries his physical and psycho- 
logical burden for a lifetime. Develop- 
ing eating and exercise habits which 
will prevent accumulation of excess 
fat must begin early in life if he is to 
avoid all the frustration of being an 
overweight individual in a slender 
society. If the chubby toddler or 
school-age child is to achieve more 
reasonable proportions, he requires 
understanding and knowledgeable 
help from his parents and physician. 

Often the most realistic approach 
is to forgo absolute weight loss in 
favor of holding the weight relatively 
constant while height catches up. 

Prospects for the child born with a 
predisposition to obesity will decidedly 
improve if and when parents abandon 
the old notion that a fat child is a 
healthy child. This isn't to say that 
every child should be a string bean. 
Most children go through stages of 
relative chubbiness prior to growth 
spurts in height; and like the adults, 
children are blessed with individual 
and different body builds. But it is 
quite unfair to a child to encourage 
his chubbiness as a baby and toddler 
and then to suddenly condemn it as 
he approaches adolescence. 

The adolescent is perhaps more con- 
scious of his appearance than is any 
other person. Many teenagers worry 
about their weight when there is no 
basis for real concern. One study of 
teenage girls showed that although 
only about 15 percent of the girls 
studied could be classified as obese, 
almost two-thirds had dieted to lose 
weight, and 37 percent were on diets 
on the day of the interview ! 

These results may reflect in part 
the fact that dieting was "the thing 
to do." But many of the girls probably 
felt they were too heavy even though 


their weight was mainly due to heavy 
bone and muscle structures. Many 
teenagers need to be helped to set 
realistic goals for their body weight in 
order to avoid fruidess and some- 
times dangerous fad dieting. 

But what of the adolescent who is 
too fat? Many are. Here again it is 
important to distinguish between long- 
standing, persistent obesity and the 
more common transient period of 
chubbiness which often precedes the 
adolescent growth spurt. Rapid growth 
in height will usually remedy the 
latter situation in a few months' time. 
But the adolescent growth spurt will 
not streamline the youngster who has 
been fat since childhood. 

During adolescence, when aware- 
ness of die opposite sex and of one's 
own body is at a high point, obesity 
is especially difficult to cope with. 
Achieving emotional independence — 
which is none too easy for any teen- 
ager — is particularly difficult for the 
obese youth. The overweight ado- 
lescent needs help not only in con- 
trolling his weight, but in accepting 
himself as a person. Sympathetic, 
unchastising support from parents, 
teachers, physician, and peers is of 
paramount importance. 

Because the adolescent is in a phase 
of rapid growth and development, 
nutritional needs are high even for 
the obese. It is extremely important 
that nutrient intake be adequate even 
when calories are restricted. 

Often the most successful approach 
to weight reduction for the obese 
teenager is moderate caloric restric- 
tion coupled with a program of 
increased physical activity. Such a 
program has psychological as well as 
physical value, since increased partic- 
ipation in activity may help break a 
habit of withdrawal from social situa- 
tions. And certainly an approach 
which does not restrict caloric intake 
too severely is to be preferred at a 
time of life when so many other 
stresses are present. 

Adults. Let's turn now to the prob- 
lems of weight control in adulthood. 
We have pointed out that the obese 

child all too often remains obese 
throughout his life. But many obese 
adults were not fat as children. Why 
do these extra pounds accumulate? 
The easy answer is too much food. 
This is true as far as it goes. But what 
special conditions of adulthood par- 
ticularly predispose toward an excess 
weight gain? 

One common concern for women is 
extra weight gain during pregnancy. 
Pregnancy poses special problems 
because two conflicting sets of cir- 
cumstances are operating. On the one 
hand the mother realizes it is impor- 
tant to get the right kind and amount 
of food. At the same time she also 
knows that excess weight gain increases 
the risk of complications during preg- 
nancy. Added to these conflicts may 
be the vague confidence that the 
extra weight will disappear after the 
baby is born. As many women can 
attest, it often doesn't. 

The paradox is further compounded 
by the belief that calorie needs increase 
during pregnancy. This is true in part. 
Extra calories are needed during the 
last part of pregnancy for the growth 
of the fetus and increased metabolic 
rate. But this added requirement may 
be more than offset by the reduced 
activity as moving becomes less and 
less comfortable. Many women, there- 
fore, may have no net increase in 
calorie needs. 

Another peak period of weight gain 
for women may occur during meno- 
pause. This may have a physiological 
basis, but probably psychological and 
activity factors are involved as well. 

The slow, steady weight gain which 
is common after 35, but sometimes 
starts even earlier, is another example 
of adult obesity and is as common 
among men as it is among women. It 
is particularly hard to cope with 
because the pounds arrive almost un- 
noticed. By the time 10 or 20 pounds 
of excess have accumulated, the 
pattern of living which produced them 
is well established. The soundest ad- 
vice is prevention before the scales 
begin to creep up. 

Energy needs are bound to decrease 

in adulthood unless you make a con- 
scious effort to increase them. Part 
of the decrease is the slow but con- 
sistent reduction in the basal metabolic 
rate. Part is likely due to a decrease in 
physical activity as you acquire more 
laborsaving possessions and less active 
leisure interests. 

Women at least have a potential 
brake on adding weight because of 
their motivation for slimness. Most 
men are less concerned with their 
figures and may be motivated only 
when enough weight has accumulated 
to become a health concern. 

It may be of interest to know, too, 
that you get fatter as you get older 
even if your weight stays the same. 
To say this another way, active tissue 
is gradually replaced with fat, starting 
in early adulthood. So some of that 
"spare tire," less-than-lean feeling is 
inevitable as middle age progresses. 

Possibly you are one of the lucky 
ones whose appetite control mecha- 
nisms automatically balance energy 
intake with needs. But many people 
are not that fortunate and have to 
make a conscious effort to achieve 
this balance. 

As part of a program of prevention, 
it just makes good sense to keep 
reasonable track of your weight. Even 
a small change in your pattern can 
add or subtract several pounds in a 
few months. One slice of toast for 
breakfast instead of two, for example, 
decreases your intake 60 to 100 
calories or more, depending on how 
much butter and jam you like on 
your toast. Couple this with a half- 
hour brisk walk and you have a 
calorie deficit of well over 100 calories 
a day. This may mean only a pound 
or so a month — but it also means 10 
to 12 pounds in a year ! 

The same principle applies if you 
are already the owner of extra pounds. 
The difference is only one of degree. 
That is, losing weight requires a 
more substantial change in food intake 
and exercise than the goal of avoiding 
weight gain. 

There is no one best diet plan for 


reducing. Choosing the best one in a 
given circumstance is a very individual 
matter. Everybody can lose weight 
assuming a sufficient and continued 
change in the energy equation, but 
the same way will simply not work for 

Some people need the support of 
others, perhaps a group of fellow 
reducers. Some will do the best by 

Some find it easier to eat five or 
six times a day. Others say that fre- 
quent eating means to them only 
more frequent temptation. 

Some do best on a slow and steady 
routine, perhaps a pound a week or 
even less. Others need the encourage- 
ment of more rapid weight loss. 

Some people want a flexible plan. 
Others need the crutch of definite 
rules — often the more rigid the regula- 
tions, the better. Probably the most 
common example is counting calories. 
Another is the formula diet. Some- 
times the rules dictate eating specific 
foods at certain times, or eating foods 
in specific combinations. There is 
nothing inherently wrong in these 
approaches, as long as the plan is 
nutritionally adequate. Just remember 
that they function as a prop for those 
who wish one. But there is nothing 
magic about them. 

No matter how you choose to lose 
weight, remember there are some 
basic ideas you should begin with: 

Talk with your physician first. 
There may be good reasons why you 
shouldn't try to lose weight; or there 
may be medical reasons for special 
considerations in your choice of a 
plan of action. Your doctor is the 
one to decide. 

Set a realistic goal for weight 
reduction, based upon your doctor's 
evaluation and taking your basic 
body build into account. 

Don't fall prey to the claims of 
miracle aids to weight loss. There 
is no easy way to lose weight. The 
only way to make it easier is to really 
want to lose weight — more than you 
want to eat ! 


Choose a diet you can live with. 
All food has caloric value. You'll 
want to avoid some high-calorie foods, 
but it's not wise to cut out your favorite 
foods altogether. And remember that 
alcohol is not without calories. One 
double martini is at least the caloric 
equivalent of a piece of pie. 

Remember that exercise does use up 
calories. And especially with moderate 
exercise, increased appetite isn't a 
necessary result. Try to build some 
exercise into your everyday habits. 

Plan your exercise pattern as care- 
fully as you do your diet. For many 
people, learning to get more physical 
exercise is harder than learning to 
eat less food. 

Don't be discouraged by day-to-day 
fluctuations in weight. The clothes 
that you're wearing and the time of 
day make a difference in your weight, 
as do variations in fluid retention 
which are common during weight loss. 
It makes more sense to weigh your- 
self once a week than every day. 

Try to "diet quiet." The person on 
a diet can make a conversation pretty 
dull. And he can make life uncom- 
fortable for others by making them 
feel guilty about the food that they're 

Be prepared for "help" from others. 
Family and friends may worry about 
you, especially after you've lost a 
few pounds. They will undoubtedly 
feel sorry for you if they realize that 
you're going without food you want. 
Steel yourself against their remarks 
and keep your determination up ! 

Keep in mind that the ultimate 
measure of success in weight reduc- 
tion is not getting the pounds off, but 
keeping them off. All your efforts to 
lose weight should continue, not for a 
week or a month, but for the rest of 
your life. 

For further reading: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food 
and Tour Weight. Home and Garden Bulletin 
74, Washington, D.C. 20250, 

Public Health Service, Obesity and 
Health. Publication No. 1485, U.S. Govern- 
ment Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 

Bemice K. Watt 

Nutritive Values 
of Foods, and 
Use of Tables 
Listing Them 

Like the millions upon millions of 
snowflakes, no two alike but in some 
aspects similar to others, so our foods 
are unique in their individual makeup 
yet each has some of the characteris- 
tics of others. No matter how we 
regard food, simply as a necessity of 
life or as something which we also 
enjoy, to our bodies it is the nutrients 
in the foods that count. All of the 50 
or more nutrients now known to be 
needed for good health are abundandy 
available from food. 

Our fund of knowledge continues to 
increase about our needs for nutrients, 
their occurrence in foods, and the 
effects on nutrients of processing and 
preparing the products that we eat. 
As this knowledge increases, tables of 
food values for research workers and 
others with specialized problems be- 
come longer and more complicated. 
Fortunately, for selecting foods and 
planning or evaluating our everyday 
diets, information about those nutri- 
ents which are best known is usually 

The nutrients that are best known 
include protein; fat; carbohydrate; 
calcium; iron; vitamin A value; three 
of the B-vitamins, thiamine, ribo- 

flavin, and niacin; and ascorbic acid, 
also called vitamin C. Of these, pro- 
tein, fat, and carbohydrate are energy- 
yielding nutrients. Energy is measured 
in units called calories. Food energy 
is, of course, a dietary essential and 
it too needs to be included in tables 
of food values. Often, however, in 
the emphasis put on counting calories, 
other essentials are ignored. 

In several special situations, like the 
manned space flights, water content 
of the diet becomes important and 
so water is assessed along with other 
nutrients in the foods for astronauts. 
Although we do not need to consider 
the water content of foods for our 
usual diets, this information is useful 
for identifying the particular form of 
some items and often for making com- 
parisons between foods. 

Tables of food values are useful 
sources for reference to these data. 
Tables cannot provide information for 
all the foods we may want to eat, 
however, and at times it may not be 
convenient or practical to consult a 
reference table. It is well, therefore, 
to have in mind as part of our general 
knowledge, some information about 
the nutritive values of our basic foods. 

One way to acquire a background 
on the nutritive value of foods is to 
study them in groups by type of origin, 
since each of the natural groupings 
makes a highly significant contribu- 
tion of several dietary essentials and 
smaller or negligible contributions of 
the others. Besides this, it may be 
helpful to consider together two or 
more groups with such similar proper- 
ties that they are often used inter- 
changeably in meal planning. 

As a practical basis in considering 
foods as sources of nutrients, we may 
group them as follows: Milk and the 
other dairy products; eggs; meat, 
poultry, and fish; dry beans and peas 
and nuts; vegetables and fruits; grain 
products; fats; and sugars. Similari- 
ties and differences in the major 

Bemice K. Watt is a Nutrition Analyst, Con- 
sumer and Food Economics Research Division, 
Agricultural Research Service. 


nutrients provided by these groups and 
by some foods within the groups are 
noted in the paragraphs below. A few 
of the lesser known nutrients are 
mentioned as they also are important 
and it is well to remember that nature 
has provided them for us. 

Whole milk, outstanding for its 
calcium, is a good source of vitamin A, 
riboflavin, vitamin B 12 , and of good 
quality protein. It provides important 
amounts of many other nutrients, too, 
but has only a negligible amount of 
iron and cannot be depended on for 
ascorbic acid. 

Dairy products that retain milk fat 
carry the vitamin A value; skim milk 
retains the other nutrients important 
in whole milk but provides only a 
little more than half the number of 
calories. One factor in the differences 
in nutritive value of the different types 
of cheese is that some cheeses are made 
from whole milk while others are made 
from skim or part skim milk. 

Eggs are an excellent source of 
protein of high quality and are one of 
the few foods in which nature pro- 
vides vitamin D. The yolk has vitamin 
A and vitamin D, iron, calcium, and 
most of the B-vitamins including 
vitamins B 6 and B J2 as well as fat and 
protein. The white of the egg has 
riboflavin and protein but only small 
amounts of most other nutrients. 
Ascorbic acid is not needed by the 
developing chick, and eggs do not 
contain this vitamin. 

Meat, poultry, and fish, like most 
other foods of animal origin, are good 
sources of high-quality protein. They 
are good sources, too, of most of the 
B-vitamins including vitamin B 6 and 
vitamin B 12 . Pork in particular is an 
especially good source of thiamine. 
All the red muscle meats are notable 
for their content of iron. Except for 
liver, the items in this group have only 
small amounts of ascorbic acid or 
vitamin A. Likewise, they have little 
calcium unless some of the bone is 
used, as it often is in canned salmon, 
sardines, some other fish, and pickled 

Dry beans and peas and nuts are 


used sometimes as main dishes. All 
are concentrated sources of food 
energy, with their high content of 
protein in addition to considerable 
carbohydrates or fats or both. They 
are good sources for a number of 
minerals including magnesium. For 
generations, soybeans have been the 
main source of calcium in the diets 
of many oriental peoples. Foods in 
this group are also good sources of 
a number of the B-vitamins. 

Peanuts and their products are out- 
standing for their content of niacin. 
The content of fat in nuts is high, 
except in chestnuts. For many kinds 
of nuts, fat makes up half or more 
of the weight. 

Vegetables and fruits can be con- 
sidered as one big group. These foods 
are a major source of most vitamins 
and minerals. Ascorbic acid occurs 
abundantly in the citrus fruits, straw- 
berries, cantaloups, vegetables of the 
cabbage family, and in numerous 
other fruits and vegetables. 

The succulent vegetables and most 
fruits have a high content of water 
and only small amounts of the energy- 
yielding nutrients. A firm head of 
lettuce, for example, may be 95 per- 
cent water. Even so, it has appreciable 
amounts of minerals and vitamins, 
more in the darker green leaves than 
in the bleached inner parts. Potatoes, 
sweetpotatoes, bananas, and some 
winter squashes have less water, from 
only about 70 to 85 percent, but more 
carbohydrate than lettuce and other 
leafy or tender vegetables. 

Except for avocados, fruits and 
vegetables have only small amounts of 
fat. The orange-colored and dark 
green products like carrots, broccoli, 
spinach, turnip greens, and some 
varieties of sweetpotatoes, have par- 
ticularly high vitamin A values. 

Cereal grains and the products made 
from them are predominantly carbo- 
hydrate in their composition but also 
contain appreciable amounts of many 
other nutrients. Cereals have some 
protein. Because of the large quantities 
used, cereals contribute considerable 
protein to our diets. 

All of the whole grain or near whole 
grain forms of cereals we use as food — 
whole cornmeal, oatmeal, brown rice, 
whole wheat flour or cereal, dark 
buckwheat and rye flours — have im- 
portant amounts of thiamine, vitamin 
B 6 , vitamin E, iron, and many other 
nutrients including a number of trace 
elements recendy found essential. The 
minerals and vitamins are concen- 
trated in the outer portions of the 
grains, and if these outer layers are 
removed in milling and processing, 
much of their original vitamin and 
mineral content is reduced. However, 
many of our cereal products have had 
nutrients added to them. 

Fats are important in our diets and 
occur in many foods — milk, meat, 
nuts, dry legumes, cereal grains, and 
other seeds — from which they are 
separated and made into products 
convenient for our use. Butter oil, 
rendered fat from animal tissues, and 
refined oil from plant sources are our 
most concentrated sources of energy 
value. They have more than twice the 
calories of either protein or carbohy- 
drate, the other energy-yielding nu- 
trients present in foods. 

Fats are sometimes classified as 
saturated or unsaturated. A chemist 
describes a fat as unsaturated if its 
fatty acids can combine with hydrogen 
and as saturated if they already are 
combined with all the hydrogen they 
can hold. Polyunsaturated is used to 
describe those fatty acids that can 
take up hydrogen at more than one 
place in their structure. 

The fats in foods of plant origin 
usually have a higher content of the 
polyunsaturated fats, including the 
essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, than 
is present in the fats of animal origin. 
Two important exceptions are coconut 
oil and olive oil. These have less 
polyunsaturated fat than other com- 
monly used fats of a plant origin. 
Cholesterol is another constituent of 
fat. It is present only in foods of 
animal origin. Egg yolk, liver, brains, 
kidney, and shellfish are all among 
the more concentrated sources for 

The two commonly used table fats, 
butter and margarine, are well-known 
sources for vitamin A. Other fat- 
soluble vitamins may be present in 
the fats and oils prepared from plant 
sources. Salad dressings are often 
included with the fats because some 
form of separated fat is a major 
ingredient for most of them. 

Sugars of the various kinds, sirups, 
candies, honey, molasses, jellies, and 
jams are all concentrated sources of 
carbohydrate. Small amounts of other 
nutrients are present in some of the 
less refined products. Molasses has 
more mineral matter than brown or 
unrefined sugars, corn or other sirups. 

A question about values published in 
tables of food composition which is 
raised over and over is, why do values 
for foods shown in one table differ 
from the figures in another table? 
There are many reasons. The quan- 
tities of a particular food for which 
calories and nutrients are shown are 
not always the same in the various 
tables. Apparent discrepancies in nu- 
tritive values for an item are often 
resolved when the weights of food for 
which these values are reported are 
taken into consideration. Unfortu- 
nately, weights are not always stated 
and thus the measures are often only 
approximations . 

Many of the packaged or processed 
items we buy have had nutrients added 
in their manufacture. For some prod- 
ucts there are limitations upon the 
kinds and amounts of nutrients that 
may be added. For example, Federal 
enrichment laws state the minimum 
and maximum levels for iron, thia- 
mine, riboflavin, and niacin which 
must be observed in certain cereal 
products if they are labeled as "en- 
riched." Margarine in this country 
customarily has vitamin A added, 
nonfat dry milk may have vitamins 
A and D added, each according to 
specified Federal regulations. 

A great many other products have 
one or more nutrients added in their 
manufacture, and for most, there are 
no Federal regulations that govern 
selection of the nutrients or of the 


amounts that may be added. For these 
foods, the kind and extent of fortifica- 
tion may be changed at any time at 
the manufacturer's discretion. The 
label must state, however, what is 
added. General figures published in 
the tables cannot keep pace with the 
changes that this kind of fortification 
can introduce. 

Values shown in tables for foods 
prepared from recipes should be 
considered solely as estimates. For 
prepared products such as these, 
the calorie and nutrient content will 
vary considerably depending upon 
the recipe used, and the recipe is the 
prerogative of die cook. 

As an example, lemon pie made with